Enemalta ordered to compensate workers passed over in promotion

courtEnemalta Corporation has been ordered to compensate five of its workers after they were passed over for promotion in December 1998.

Edward Darmanin, Joseph Debono, Charles Borda, Charles Grech and Mark Magro, assisted by Dr Ian Spiteri Bailey, took the corporation to court after another worker, Alfred Debono, was made Operations Manager (Loss Control, Electricity). His promotion meant a jump from pay scale 11 to pay scale 7 of the corporation.

The workers argued that the procedure laid down in the collective agreement, including the requirement for a call for applications, were not followed. The court said there was no doubt that the procedure laid down in the collective agreement was not followed.

The board of directors had felt the need to urgently create the post of Operations Manager (Loss Control, Electricity) because of major theft of electricity. The board had needed to appoint a person of trust and Mr Debono had experience in this field.

The court ruled that while the board could in urgent cases, create a new post and appoint a person of trust to it, more so when the situation was one which was costing the corporation money. The collective agreement itself said that in making appointments, the board had to consider the qualifications and attitude of the prospective candidate. The appointment, therefore, was not irregular, abusive or illegal. However an injustice was created when  the other workers were not given the opportunity to apply for the post.

Edward Darmanin and Charles Borda, in particular, occupied grades which were close to the grade given to Debono. The court had to consider the loss of earnings they and the others had suffered. The court therefore ordered Enemalta to give Mr Darmanin and Mr Borda compensation of €8,000 each. Joseph Debono, Charles Grech and Mark Magro were given compensation of €6,000 each.

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