19 workers 'warned off' by CTL
CAYMANAS Track Limited (CTL) has ordered its engineering department off limits to 19 employees who walked off the job last Thursday, causing an abandonment of the afternoon's overseas racing and, subsequently, a cancellation of the weekend's 12-race local programme.
Managing director Shane Dalling yesterday revealed that the government-owned horse-racing promoting company is convinced its computer system was the target of sabotage, originating from within the engineering department.
"We have decided those workers will not be allowed back into the department until further notice," said Dalling.
The decision was made on Friday after a representative from United Tote, the overseas company which services the totalisator system at Caymanas Park, determined that 'crucial files' were missing from the master and back-up systems at the race track.
However, Howard Litchmore, negotiating officer, Union of Technical, Supervisory and Administrative Personnel, said, the workers, "to the best of their knowledge", knew of no missing files.
However, he said he was aware of CTL's claims and the union would look into the 19 workers being asked to stay home during police investigations.
"Myself, along with workers, had a meeting with management on Friday because of a dispute they had with some training they wanted to take place in the department. The workers thought it wasn't discussed fully.
"After the meeting on Friday, we asked them to return to work. However, they were instructed by the management of CTL to return on Monday because they said there was some sabotage by the workers and had called in Cyber Crime to investigate," said Litchmore.
"When they turned up on Monday, they were given a letter saying they were to remain home, with full pay, until further instructed by management," he added.
Dalling told STAR Sports that the engineering department workers walked off the job on Thursday after refusing to take part in a training exercise involving managers and internal staff, conducted by United Tote and observed by representatives of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), the preferred bidder in the planned privatisation of Caymanas Park.
"The training session was to provide succession planning and contingency. Nobody at CTL, except the staff in that department, not even management, knew what they did in there.
"When I came, I said, 'It cannot be that way'," explained Dalling, who was appointed chief executive officer in April.
"What I did was to announce cross training for every department, managers, as well as other staff members. What happened last Thursday was that staff members felt it was a breach and they were not going to be used after divestment," he pointed out.
Meanwhile, CTL yesterday issued a release announcing the resumption of local racing today, but added that tomorrow's overseas racing was cancelled "due to upgrading of the computer and security systems", involving restricted access and changing of passwords.
Dalling said the engineering department will be manned by managers, internal staff and external contractors, under the supervision of United Tote's representative, while the 19 are ordered off limits.
The CTL managing director said the company lost $54m in sales whereas the professional groups comprising jockeys, trainers, grooms, in addition to off-track betting parlour operators' loss exceeded $10m.