Jilted man sets Sophia apartments ablaze

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first_img– 10 homeless, suspect on the runA late night fire in Sophia, Greater Georgetown has left ten persons homeless and more than $10 million in losses after it completely destroyed an apartment building.What remained of the apartment buildingAccording to reports, the fire, which is suspected to be the work of a known arsonist, started around 23:10h.Guyana Times understands that the apartments were owned by Yonnette Roberts, her daughters Deon and Kenesha Roberts, and her son-in-law Sherwin Charles.This publication was told that three families were at home at the time of the incident and two of the four occupants also owned businesses which were destroyed in the flames.The fire was reportedly started by an enraged man with whom Yonette Roberts allegedly refused to pursue a relationship.She told this publication that she was at the National Park, Georgetown when she received a call from a friend who informed her that her home was on fire.The woman said that when she arrived at the scene, the building was already burnt flat and nothing was saved.Yonette RobertsRoberts divulged that the arson suspect, who was nowhere to be found after the fire, had made several threats to the families residing in the apartment building. “He does always make a lot of threats to me, but we never took him seriously, but he was the only one that was in my apartment, so he set the fire and then escaped because he cannot be found since the incident occurred,” she explained.Charles, who was at home at the time of the fire, said that he heard noises coming from the adjoining apartment and called out to the alleged arsonist, who is known to them.He relayed that the man told him that the noise was coming from some puppies that were owned by the families.He further explained that he continued about his business and was about to go to bed when he received a call from his sister-in-law, in another apartment, informing him that the building was on fire.“So after she called me, I ran out to see if I could try to prevent the fire from spreading, but it was already very big, so I just ran back inside to attempt to save some stuff from inside of my apartment,” Charles said.He added that he was unable to save much, as the fire spread quickly, consuming the building.An angry neighbour told this publication that some of the children from the apartments could have died if not for persons who assisted in getting them out of the burning building.“I saw when the building started to burn, and these people were inside and unaware of what was happening and I started to make noise to alert them. All of them children were inside the house and all of them could’ve died in that fire.”According to the families, the apartments were fully furnished with every necessity. One of the business owners told this publication that she had only recently restocked her business and could not believe that now she was left “with only this clothes that I have on”.The Fire Service was called to the scene, but was unable to lend much assistance.The matter was reported to the Police and a manhunt has since been launched for the suspect.last_img

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There’s no need to fear a return of the unions

first_imgThere’s no need to fear a return of the unionsOn 13 May 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The merest hint of industrial unrest always prompts an airing of that oldrock song, Part of the Union. For a time though, the turntables have beensilent. Having peaked with 10 million in the 1970s, union membership slumped tobelow 8 million in the 1980s and 1990s as employment switched away frommanufacturing to services, and legislation curbed union power. Now unions are staging a comeback. High-profile strikes by firefighters andrail workers evoke memories of times past. So much so that Labour governmentministers themselves express public concern at an emerging new generation ofunion militants. The Government’s fairness at work legislation has given added impetus tounion recognition. Today, almost two out of three public sector workers areunionised, compared with less than one in five in private firms. Unions arealso central players in the ongoing reform of public sector service delivery. The next couple of years might witness the most disruptive strike activitysince Mrs Thatcher took on Arthur Scargill in the 1980s. But industrial striferemains far less prevalent than in the 1970s. In 2001, the UK lost 20 workingdays per 1,000 employees to strikes – much lower than the EU (43 days) and OECD(29 days) averages. Even so, it is clear the employment relations environment within which theHR community operates is entering a new phase. Some are understandably wary ofthe possible consequences, yet experience shows that responsible trade unions,working in partnership with employers, should be embraced rather than treatedwith suspicion. Unions serve as an important channel, building shared-interestrelations with employees to help raise productivity and improve workingconditions. True, unions can at times abuse their role. The legitimate right of unionsto be recognised must therefore always be tempered by appropriate restrictionsdesigned to ensure they behave responsibly. In this respect the currenttreatment of unions in UK law, as most recently modified by the EmploymentRelations Act 1999, would seem about right. The Government’s recent conclusion that there is as yet no case forwholesale changes to the legislation seems justified, so long as employersadopt the spirit as well as letter of the current law, and do not attempt toexercise legal loopholes to obstruct recognition. The overriding object for all – government, employers and trade unions –must be to build upon the positive partnerships of recent years. At nationallevel, employers’ organisations should support Brendan Barber’s efforts as hetakes over from John Monks at the TUC’s helm. He faces a tricky task insteering the union movement through interesting times ahead. It is highly unlikely that the high employment, high productivity and highpublic service delivery outcomes that the UK needs can emerge in the absence ofgood relations with the unions. By John Philpott, Chief economist, CIPD Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

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