CUC worker cracks after 20 years on job

| 09/10/2015 | 86 Comments
Cayman News Service

CUC crew at work

(CNS): A linesman with CUC who had an exemplary work record with 20 years service was sacked after he cracked during a disciplinary hearing over weekend shifts and punched his boss, as well as hitting him over the head with his helmet. Vaughn Wilks pleaded guilty this week to unlawful wounding and was bound over to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a year on a bond of $500. The court heard that after two decades with a solid work record, Wilks’ refusal to work weekends for a time during 2014 because he had to look after his child led to the company suspending him and the ultimately fateful meeting where his career was cut short.
The court heard that Wilks was truly sorry and his reaction was entirely “spontaneous” but had serious consequences. Already paying the price of losing his job and medical benefits, Wilks’ attorney Clyde Allen explained to the court that his client thought his bosses understood that he had was not available to work weekends as he had to look after his child because the mother was working weekends at that time.

But instead the company management took disciplinary action against him and called him in to a meeting to suspend him from his post. When his manager tried to force Wilks to sign the letter, he appeared to crack and punched the boss and whacked him with his hard hat twice. Fortunately, the court heard, the manager was not seriously injured and made a full recovery from the cuts and bruises.

Justice Charles Quin said that the lack of self-control by the defendant was “unacceptable and regrettable” but it was commendable that he had wanted to do his part in looking after his daughter. With an exemplary work record with 20 years service, a previous good character, his guilty plea and no serious consequences to the victim, Wilks was bound over.

The crown prosecutor admitted that she was “stretched” to find aggravating factors in the case other that the fact that the assault took place in the workplace where, she claimed, people would not expect to be punched by their colleagues. However, the case had reached the Grand Court as the crown had originally charged Wilks with causing grievous bodily harm, which he had denied. It was only after discussions between the prosecutors and Wilks’ defense attorney that the charge was reduced to one of unlawful wounding, which his client had always admitted.

After hearing the particulars of the case and as he handed down the sentence, the judge noted that the defendant had lost his job as a result of his actions and that already constituted punishment. Nevertheless, the judge wondered aloud why the defendant was suspended from his job in first place when he wanted to take care of his young daughter.

“It is regrettable that after having a 20-year work record, some kind of compromise could not have been reached between company and employee about this matter,” he added.


Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (86)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a very touchy topic ,worse when you know the accuse on a personal level .I know if Mr. Wilks could’ve turn back the hands of time his action would be different from than what happened on that unfortunate day for him.(and the manager)
    I am not saying that I approve of the action that Mr. Wilks portrayed , But we are only human and am quite sure we all at one time or the other have done some thing that we have later regret .and who knows what Mr. Wilks may have been going through ,and knowing the person that he are ,(a man of very few words) until he are comfortable with you.
    Its not like Vaughn went in to work on that day saying am gonna F–k up the manager. No he SNAPPED! ( which means to suddenly lose one’s self-control ; and being in that state we doesn’t think clearly at all) The question should be is what drove he to that.

    Provocation is a serious thing.

    What we fail to understand the this dilemma could’ve have been avoided or didn’t had to escalade to this magnitude . First of all why is the manager dealing with these matters what happen to the supervisors ? I think if any body should be fired ,it should be the supervisors for not doing there job. From what I understood, there were more than Mr. Wilks who didn’t worked on the week ends . He didn’t refused, but was targeted out from the rest of the crew.

    This is my opinion, I personally think if that had been a Caymanian dealing with the matter things wouldn’t had been blown out of proportion. Yes! not to sound prejudice but am being realistic here. Most of these foreigners here in managerial position, don’t care weather our children have food or weather they are sick. They’re here on an all paid vacation. They looks down on us ( Caymanian )and belittle us. label us as Lazy.

    Vaughn my prayers and my blessing goes out to you and your family .God Bless.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe your posters think that an employee can hit the boss and keep their job under any circumstances short of being physically attacked by the boss. Makes me wonder what goes on in your homes (and heads.)

    • LK says:

      Please spare us the “I
      am so shocked shxt!!”
      Why because it’s deemed “unprofessional?” Anybody can trip at any point no matter where the hell they are from or who they are. Clearly this individuals’ track record and history speaks for itself. He was NOT a voilent person and if they felt they could just suspend him when he was such a commited employee one can imagine how many other times he has had to bite his tongue! Wonder what country u are from to try and make “us” believe that this would be unheard of in your world – a real hypocrite!!! Yes Violence is in many homes and many countries included YOURS but this is not the case with this incident. So stop talking out of your xxx and find the correct forum to comment on.

    • Inspector Clouseau says:

      You trip at home, you trip at the airport, you trip at the drive thru window and also behind the wheel in traffic at motorist yet you still consider yourself a saint. A lot is done behind closed doors where employees are always being victimized and no compassion is given. A lot of organizations aren’t family oriented. They told us how they’re supporters of the meals on wheels program & primary league football and assist when the public beach needs new huts erected but a 20yr veteran couldn’t get a specific weekend off to mind his child. A 20yr vet with a excellent record at that. Im sure the mother doesn’t work every weekend either so when it’s his weekend he’s established 20yrs of hard work to get that weekend off.

      You take care of what takes place in your house and don’t worry about anyone else’s.

      PS: In my honest opinion, some of these bosses really need to get a good floggin as they feel they can say and do whatever they want to staff and get away with it because they’re in a position of authority.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Times are slowly changing. People are sick of being treated like crap by some “higher ups” who afford themselves benefits while expecting other employees to go above and beyond the call of duty for the love of the company. People in management positions often blatantly afford themselves all kinds of perks and benefits and don’t even make and effort to be discreet about it, yet they are genuinely upset if their staff may need a bit of flexibility due to certain circumstances beyond their control. I have seen this time and time again in my lie of work. To top it all off, at the end of the year they cash in on a big bonus while the rest is looking on because there is always an excuse why this year wasn’t a good year and therefore bonuses are cut etc.

    I don’t know the circumstances of this case, but trust me, I have plenty of days I also feel like boxing someone at work when you see the blatant abuse of power going on. But as the saying goes, what goes around comes around. Those who think they are above sickness, illness, accidents and hardship will have a rude awakening coming their way.

    • Inspector Clouseau says:

      I agree with you. Authority in organizations are always abused by those responsible for hiring and firing. They also needs to thought a lesson.

      Chiefs don’t make the work happen, the Indians do.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How wet are we getting? Electricity is a 24/7 need. This worker is employed and paid for a job that is not Monday to Friday. If he cannot work when he is needed he could have found another job. Once you molly-coddle staff then running a business is well-nigh impossible.

    • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        And proud of it. So what?

        • KB says:

          Not proud enough to stay there in “Brit” or off good ole cayman media /forums .
          Obviously there is some interest for “proud” brit to waste their valuable time on this topic. 😉 would await your reply but if all ur world is about $ with no regard for the fact that this individual was committed to this company for 20 years then ur clearly not worth it. Yet when an employee leaves for more $ elsewhere the same employees are up in arms and hesitant to give any future references. Business is business!! And I own 2 successful businesses with great long term employees that they treat me fair and they do the same. If they move on to greener pastures then I will wish them well. It’s people like you that expect for sxxt on decent human beings because you feel ur better. Just not use to authority and find empowerment by making others feel like crap. Sad really …cause to me it’s nothing like being fair to another human being. Look in the mirror because ur clearly lacking somewhere to think this world shouldn’t care about another persons unfortunate circumstances because it hurts their bottom line. Take a good luck buddy and seek help no joke really you need it . Good luck 🙂

          • Anonymous says:

            What is fascinating is that you have managed to set up two successful businesses over 20 years when you appear to be a 14 year old boy. Certainly you write in the style of a 14 year old boy. You set up a straw man argument by creating a false binary, namely that one has your management style or “all ur world is about $ with no regard for the individual” (which reads a bit like a Prince album track title rather than written English). Go on, Google “straw man argument”. Now toodle-pip old chap, you manage your businesses your way and I’ll manage mine my way. And good luck after you graduate from high school. I would sign off with an emoticon but I am a grown adult not a child.

            • Inspector Clouseau says:

              Wow! Someone got you upset like that that school and google was brought into this conversation. You seem to be one of those slave masters too.

            • UGOKL says:

              You ever notice when persons don’t have a decent rebuttal in a debate they target the others grammar? Hahaha elementary at it’s best ?. Oh and didn’t know only kids used emoticons ?! Thanks for the info but this won’t work either wrong again and I’m sure u get the gist of what the writer is saying ..can’t handle it that’s all. ?

            • Linny says:

              To “Proud” you want to know what’s even more fascinating is that you are critiquing another’s grammar but yet your reading comprehension is an “F” at best – the author said nothing about having employees for 20yrs???!
              Wow …guess that just about proved what they wrote any opportunity to try and crush others when your house is clearly not in tact at least your ENGLISH sure ain’t lmao is that better ? Didn’t want to use an emoji might give off the impression that I am a child SMH ? btw read carefully and see how grammatically incorrect I am now obviously you have the time!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Many people in this world are proud of shitty accolades – so more power to you. It is your right.


          – Whodatis

          P.S. The other respondent did a good enough job on dissecting the living contradiction that is you – and so many like you.


    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t know the full story either = maybe he was always singled out and shafted with the “weekend shift” and others never had to do any work on weekends. It happens all the time. Managers (just like teachers) have their favorites………..

    • Anonymous says:

      Molly-cuddling? How’s this, and it’s also at CUC!@!! A young and new employee comes in late, goes back out to buy food to eat, comes back to eat at the office and by the time he’s done eating breakfast it’s nearly 10am; an hour and a half later, goes out again to buy food for lunch and have lunch break comes back around 2pm and by 3:30 is getting ready to be off work! and that’s a daily occurrence!! When told what to do by his manager – his answer? Fuck that!! CUC policy states that no private cars inside the compound – what he did was brought his car inside to do repairs on company time! Disrespectful to manager and supervisor and at the end of the year gets an award _ WTF?

  5. Anonymous says:

    All companies bully their employees, co-workers, right in front of management and customers alike. This should be immediate grounds for DISMISSAL.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This happens elsewhere in the government’s main departments: admin, RCIPS, education. Lack of appreciation for the individual, especially those of long-standing but especially those whose livelihood is at risk because they’ve never been elevated to corrupt poorly-led management structures.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I heard that his boss was a Fortis crony of Canadian origin. He came here after working on another Caribbean island, I presume to throw his weight around. Unfortunately in this case HR was horribly redundant in thier duty to mediate the situation.

    Most HR departments in coroporate environments are just robots enslaved to the rigid system. Their Ignorance, arrogance and contempt for sensitive employee situations is despicable. An employee is just a skin to be flogged. This is a very sad ending and if I was the HR manager at CUC I’d be reevaluating the firing of Mr. Wilks as this has set a grave precedence and will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the morale of your best employees.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree the HR manager should have intervened considerably in this case. He should also be held accountable.

  8. Captain Bligh says:

    He’s lucky they ever hired him at all. Kudos to CUC for standing up to this slacker with violent tendencies. People expect their power to be on 24/7 and CUC is running a business, not some family charity.

    Some kid is sick? Toughen up, there’s a dollar to be made by your betters. Cayman never should have given up the lash and the stocks.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, wonder how the berated Turtle Farm employee kept his cool?

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously the Turtle Farm employee knew that he was recording the encounter ,and wanted to show himself as a cool guy ,while making Timmy appear as the bad guy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Come on Joey E, tell them what’s wrong with this story.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Shhhhhhhh, something not right with this and it seems there was a little bit of history with these guys, Maybe his manager was on some power trip but at what point do you write someone up for refusing to work overtime on a weekend when you must look after your child. Was it CUC that said he had a perfect work record? seems very strange they would say this as that’s not really backing their manager. Its a true fact that some managers and staff don’t get on at work, they most likely have to respect each other and carry out their jobs for the love of keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads (and families) but everyone has a breaking point! The manager found this guys….

  12. Inspector Clouseau says:

    On this occasion, Vangh Wilks had the power. A real man in the eyes of many. Family first.

    • Rhett says:

      Kudos to Mr. Vaughn Wilks! Family IS foremost!

    • Anonymous says:

      just do the math, you work on weekends, which includes overtime pay, after 20 years on the job you should be able to make a significant amount of money working the week end, get part of that money and pay for someone to look over your son. Now you have no job to support him. even if half of your weekend money goes to the help, it is worthy….

      • Inspector Clouseau says:

        I think you should do the math, subtract yourself from the man financial affairs and it would a positive sum. He and the child’s mother knows what’s best for the child. If you don’t contribute to the bills, you have no say.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Christian forgiving values at work here….NOT!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Violence is always championed as the Caymankind way. Funny thing that in a church laden society.

    • Inspector Clouseau says:

      Violence in your eyes my friend but why don’t you ask those he worked with. Lets see if they considered it violence. I bet they’re congratulating Vaughn now for doing what someone should’ve done already.

      The bread was just removed from his table and i know those he worked with on road never complained about his decision to mind his child, just the boss who had an issue with it. Should’ve still been nursing his head.

      Does the term “stand your ground” sound like violence?

      Does the right “to bare arms” sound like violence?

      Pressure burst pipe my friend.

  15. Anonymous says:

    A bit of a repeat of 9:20 – but it needs to be repeated:

    There is not a lot of information available here – such as the terms of his employment contract. If he is required to be available for weekends, nights, holiday work – as required by company need – then it is his responsibility as an employee who signed agreement to that requirement to make arrangements for the care of his child when he will not be available due to work requirements. If that is not the case – then certainly, he should have worked with the CUC to make the best arrangement for both parties.

    The care of his child is his responsibility as is performing his job as agreed. It is also his responsibility to balance the two successfully.

    And to put a point to it – the most basic, and fundamental, reason that “for profit” companies (the CUC being one of them) exist is – you guessed it: FOR PROFIT. So yes, the company is focused on making money. If you are operating a business without that being a key goal and tenet of your operation, you won’t have to worry about it for long because you will not be in business. So please stop saying companies don’t care about anything but profit. They do care about other things and there are countless examples of companies going above and beyond just paying salaries for their people to show that fact. But if they aren’t making money, they don’t survive.

    I would implore more people to spend a little more time questioning their assumptions from what they read before they post such angry rhetoric. To be frank – reading the comments to stories like this has become deplorably predictable.

    • WaYaSay says:

      People like you need to take your self righteousness and put it where the sun don`t shine. Where in this story do you see the “information available here” that the employee’s terms of employment required him to be available on weekends?

      Your self righteous self appears to have inserted that tidbit yourself! The fact is, it is NOT a condition of employment, just an uncaring boss setting the schedule for him to work weekends ………….. to hell with his sick daughter.

      He was an exemplary employee for 20 years so surely there were many times in that 20 years, when he was scheduled to work weekends and did so, without complaint ……. surely this one time in 20 years his boss could have been more accommodating and switched his weekend schedule with another employee who is under the same obligation as he was.

      Your rant about “profit” is a senseless one. there would have been NO loss of profit….. indeed no extra cost incurred by the company, to have switched one hourly paid employee for another hourly paid employee on the schedule, so that Mr. Vaughn could have attended to his daughter for this short amount of time it took for her to get better. You obviously have never owned a successful business nor managed to keep an employee for 20 years.

      But then again……. its just a Caymanian and, in your world at least, they are expandable it seems.

      I do not condone violence, neither does the courts, however, your attitude certainly does nothing to calm a volatile situation in the workplace, to say nothing of trying to protect the Company’s considerable investment in a 20 year loyal employee.

      • Rhett says:

        Well said. I hope the public humiliation of this loyal employee does not hinder him from future gainful employment. God Bless.

      • Anonymous says:

        I do respect CNS but when I re-read the heading wondered if it gives the impression that the worker had issues and simply lost it after 20 years?
        For Employee of 20 years lost if after CUC refused flex time…. just my thoughts and how easy it can be to make workers look ungrateful when there are so many HR personnel who don’t have a clue

      • Anonymous says:

        Your are obviously not mentally equipped to view the story from an objective perspective. Please continue your passion filled diatribe instead of truly seeing the situation from all sides. I am sure it makes you feel better.

  16. Sparky says:

    Boycott CU….

  17. Up a pole with no ladder says:

    Many companies in cayman are anti-family. Even the government standard maternity leave is garbage. It easy to feel penalized for being a parent in cayman. Especially if you aren’t at an executive level.

    Obviously something was said in this meeting that struck a nerve with this 20 year employee as to him putting his child before CUC. Im sure this will earn CUC as employer of the year in the hearts of the community.

    Who was his boss? The old boys club members seem to have no managerial skills.

  18. Anon says:

    Shame on CUC for making him choose between his daughter and work. The suspension should have not happened (if facts are correct) neither should the assault. One can understand why this man became upset!

  19. Shhhhhhhh. says:

    There is something wrong or very missing in all this. How can a company of CUC’s standards and employment history get to this point where they suspend a veteran worker (I assume in good standing) for giving priority to his child, without some sort of attempt at mediation or compromise. I find this a bit baffling! There must have been some solution that could have been reached, or, maybe there is more to this than meets the eye!

  20. Anonymous says:

    give the man back him job and fire the boss

  21. PeterS says:

    Terrible handling by CUC of an HR situation. Really! You insist on a guy working weekends when clearly this is not possible for him. And then on top of that doing a disciplinary hearing. Really bad form by CUC. Some respect could be shown for a loyal employee.

  22. Snap says:

    Fired him? He should have been transferred to Customer Service. Would be a big step up from what’s there now.

  23. Anonymous says:

    For a “first world” country, Cayman is incredibly backwards when it comes to the respect and compensation and legal rights given to working parents. A dedicated man, a father, being disciplined for taking care of his child…is this the precedent that we are setting here where job is more important than family? Good job CUC for letting everyone know what your policy is on the work/family/life balance, not that the general public needed yet another reason to dislike your policies and business model…

    • Anonymous says:

      First world? which part of Cayman is first world? Cayman looks more like an advanced third world country to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Could the CUC management not attempt to fill the gap on the weekend in question with another employee? Traded a work assignment or something to assist Mr. Wilks ? I find it hard to believe some compromise could not have been agreed on between the parties. Unless mitigating factors exist , but still tough to understand why CUC would drive the man to such actions.

  24. Anonymous says:

    All these companies care about is their bottom line and they most likely saw it as preferential treatment to allow him to skip weekends to take care of his daughter.

    Either way, if working weekends was a part of his employment agreement, then he should have been persuaded to get a helper or babysitter for the weekends.

    Now he has all the time in the world to spend with her but no job to maintain their standard of living.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like employer bullying to me…but hats off, how many of us have wanted to do that and never had the balls?

    • Anonymous says:

      I work in the financial services industry for a Dutch company. Similar enough treatment. Management matters. Everyone else is dispensable.

  26. Knot S Smart says:

    CUC should just pay the fine, apologize and give him back his job…
    Some bosses need punching in the face…

  27. Anonymous says:

    Another hard working Caymanian out of a job after 20 years and the work permit supervisor who could care less about sick family members and exemplary work history.

    Why suspend the man in the first instance, was there no other employee available to cover him for a few weeks?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Head of HR at CUC is a born Caymanian so stop with the “work permit supervisors” stuff 9:14

      • Anonymous says:

        Beign born here does not automatically make one a decent man. Lots of skellies in the closets

      • Anonymous says:

        The one that was the cause of the problem and got punched in the face WAS and IS on a work permit!
        The Caymanian head of HR was not consulted until the ill conceived disciplinary action was taken and the punch got thrown

        • Rhett says:

          Really? Can you please share hard-copy facts? Not fair, indeed, to push a loyal employee to that degree of frustration. Fire all Caymanians! Hire only Work Permit holders….damn, transparency of foreign businesses on the bandwagon to be against Caymanians perhaps finally will be eradicated? Hopefully Mr. Wilks will find gainful employment with an employer who shows respect for him, his work ethics.

        • Anonymous says:

          So 9:39, what would he as Head of HR done when faced with dealing with a situation where an employee has committed a criminal act by physically assaulting another person?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah right don’t believe this for a moment.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Unless there’s more to this story, CUC should be ashamed of themselves.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I love how CUC values their loyal staff. CUC, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Whoever was hit in the head should be fired.
    I would imagine that this treatment is not an isolated incidence.
    You suck CUC management

  30. Anonymous says:

    I cried a little tear. How many fathers are willing to do what this man wanted to do to stay with is daughter. If I had a company I would hire you in a heart beat. CUC for an employee of 20 years you guys could have dealt with the matter internally especially since the manager was not hurt.

    I bet that Manager got more punches than that in a bar and didn’t sue anyone.

    An employee of 20 years should not even be working weekends unless its necessary or should be flexible.

    SHAME ON YOU CUC!!!!!!.

    All the best Wilks, you will not be unemployed for long. Keep the faith.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:02, who is going to employ someone with such a violent temper? In all organisations in all countries aspiring to civilized values, what Vaughn did amounts to gross misconduct and is punishable by immediate termination. We may wish CUC had treated him better-yes, definitely – but assaulting someone like that is a criminal offence. Full stop.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wonder what will happen to the Turtle Farm CEO now?
        CNS was quick to report on the Minister of Culture though.

  31. Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Where was CUC HR?

      • Anonymous says:

        In Cayman-based companies people called HR often think that their only responsibility is to deal with Work Permits. They are not aware that HR should also be helping to mediate employer-employee conflicts preferably before they happen.

        • Rhett says:

          Where can frustrated employess go for help? Their employers fire when they find out… are scarce for Caymaninas.
          Work permit holders also do not complain, as they know their fate…..immediate dismissal using the infamous terminology, ‘job is redundant’.

      • Anonymous says:

        Busy polishing the Investors in People award @9:07

        • Anonymous says:

          @4:00pm – I believe you are absolutely correct…or they were busy polishing their “Best Employer Award” from the nepotistic local HR society.

    • Sparky says:

      I’ll go out on a wire and say this employee and his manager were poles apart on this issue.

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