The Employers’ Consultative Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ECA) wishes to extend a very warm welcome to the newly appointed President of the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago, Her Honour Justice Heather Seale. In this regard, the ECA extends its very best wishes for a successful tenure as she continues to build on the foundation already laid to further solidify and strengthen the role of this institution in providing requisite guidance to foster and enhance appropriate behavioural practices and decision-making in the world of work, and in so doing, assist in the preservation and promotion of industrial peace and stability – all of which are cornerstones of the Industrial Court.

It is with a great sense of gratitude that the ECA also take this opportunity to express its sincere thanks and appreciation to the former President, Her Honour Justice Deborah Thomas-Felix, is an individual who has served with excellence and distinguished herself as an outstanding judicial officer and court administrator. Together with her team, she was responsible for leading the Industrial Court during its transformation and modernisation efforts and has presided over the highest level of adjudication of labour law and industrial relations standards and practices while promoting proper standards of workplace employer/employee engagement and laws for Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and around the world.

Deborah Thomas-Felix is amongst the first Trinbagonian Caribbean National to have been appointed a judge of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT), with subsequent elevation to the role of Second Vice President and in 2016, became the UNAT’s eighth President.

In November 2015, she became the first national of Trinidad and Tobago to be appointed by the Governing body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) as a member of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) - a committee comprising twenty (20) of the world’s most eminent legal luminaries.

In 2020, she became the first Caribbean national to be appointed a member of the International Monetary Fund’s Administrative Tribunal, an independent judicial forum for the resolution of employment disputes arising between the IMF and its staff members.

The ECA commends Justice Deborah Thomas-Felix on her outstanding accomplishments of which Trinidad and Tobago should be justifiably proud and extends its very best wishes to her in all her future undertakings.

As we look to the future, the ECA would like to see greater transparency in the process of appointing members to the Industrial Court and for their security of tenure equivalent to that of other Judges in Courts of Superior Record. This, we believe, is becoming a greater imperative in preserving the independence of this very important national institution.

Once again, the ECA extends its heartfelt congratulations to Her Honour Justice Heather Seale and reaffirms its commitment to continued collaboration and cooperation with the Industrial Court.

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