Gov. Charles Turnbull on Friday nominated the former president of the St. Croix Federation of Teachers, Cecil Benjamin, as the next commissioner of Labor.
Along with heading the St. Croix teachers' union, Benjamin was the chief negotiator for both the St. Croix and St. Thomas AFT chapters. He will take over as acting commissioner from John Sheen, who has been in charge since Sonia Jacobs Dow stepped down as commissioner in October.
Dow resigned amid criticism from employees within Labor as well as Sen. Roosevelt David, the 23rd Legislatures chairman of the Labor and Veterans Affairs Committee. The departments management of workers' compensation and other divisions has been under scrutiny because of complaints from customers as well as from Labor employees.
Dow also was criticized by Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, among others, for the departments failure to monitor employment practices at the Virgin Islands Telephone Corp.
Benjamin has a Bachelor of Science degree from Inter-American University and a Masters in Education from Temple University. He was born in Guyana and is married to Ferryneisa Benjamin. The couple has two children.