The Hindu Women’s Organization of Trinidad and Tobago is today adding its voice to the growing chorus of entities condemning Angostura for its handling of recent sexual harassment allegations against the company’s chairman, Dr. Rolph Balgobin.

Dr. Rolph Balgobin

The female executive who made the allegations was fired weeks after Dr. Balgobin was cleared by the Board following an investigation by retired Justice Rolston Nelson, in which neither the accuser nor Dr. Balgobin was interviewed.

The Hindu Women’s Organization in a release said, “It is disheartening that…the company would ignore its obligation to conduct itself according to…the guidelines of best practice, thus causing both parties to suffer: the “victim” via the silencing and the “perpetrator” via the public assumption of his guilt.”

In light of the dismissal of the complainant, the Hindu Women’s Organization is calling on Angostura Ltd to tell the public, among other things, whether Mr. Nelson had been advised of any procedure or standards or methodology or practice for handling this particular type of complaint and whether he has any particular expertise or experience with this type of complaint.

It also questions whether Justice Nelson’s report referred in any way to accusations of terminable offences and/or appeared to have taken these into account in recommending dismissal of the complaint

The Organization also noted that there remains a strong tradition and continuing culture of silence and suppression around sexual harassment both in and out of the workplace.

This, it said, leads to an acceptance of Sexual harassment, especially when large public companies like Angostura ignore their duty to their employees to not only protect them from this abuse of power but to be clearly seen as protecting them in the way that they should.