Christine Perriott’s fight with the Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL) is turning out quite like the fight between David and Goliath. BTL fired her on February 27, but instead of walking always with the nearly $20,000 BTL paid to her, she launched a court battle, seeking her full reinstatement to her job. Perriott said she could not sit idly by while the court hears her case and tries to make a final ruling, so she sought interim reinstatement. When she won it, however, BTL immediately put her on indefinite special leave, and told her she would be paid no salary for 25 weeks, because that’s how much extra money she got on her termination.
On Tuesday, Perriott moved to challenge BTL’s latest decision in court, but more than insisting that she should have the right to return to her job, just as before her termination, she is asking the court to incarcerate BTL’s head honcho, Dean Boyce, for allegedly not complying with the court’s order to reinstate her.
Boyce is the same man who swore an affidavit against Perriott in court, telling the court that BTL does not want her services any more because of a serious rift between her and the management of the company. In effect, Boyce described Perriott as a troublemaker, and he told the court that things were running better at BTL without her.
In her filing, made on her behalf by her attorney Lois Young, Perriott complains that Boyce failed to carry out the court’s order to reinstate her.
The claimant, Christine Perriott, will make the argument to the court that one is only reinstated when he or she is physically returned back to the job.
Perriott is insisting that BTL fired her not because she was a bad employee—a claim that she fervently refutes—but because of her activities as the general secretary of the Belize Communication Workers Union, which represents the workers of BTL.
Justice Muria will hear the case for contempt on Tuesday, April 24, but the court will also hear BTL’s request for permission from the judge to file an appeal of his ruling on that day.
Since yesterday, a court marshal has been trying to serve Boyce with the court’s order for Perriott’s reinstatement. We understand that after several hours of pursuing Boyce, the persistent marshal finally met him face to face at his home very early this morning, but Boyce reportedly refused to accept the document that the marshal was presenting to him.
Page 2 of the order, dated April 18, 2007, warns Boyce that as chairman, he could be imprisoned or have his assets seized if BTL fails to comply.