Barclays Bank of Jamaica Ltd v National Workers Union

 
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Industrial Disputes Tribunal

Lynch, C.; Plant, R.; Dixon, R.

IDT 22 of 1976

Barclays Bank of Jamaica Limited
and
National Workers Union

Labour Law - Trade Unions — Recognition

REFERENCE:
1

By letter dated 31 st March, 1976, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, in accordance with section 5, subsection 3 of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, referred to the Tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between Barclays Bank of Jamaica Limited and the National Workers Union.

2

The Terms of Reference to the Tribunal were as follows –

“To settle the dispute between Barclays Bank of Jamaica Limited on the one hand and the National Workers Union on the other hand, as respect the categories of workers of whom a ballot should be taken or the persons who should be eligible to vote in the ballot to determine the claim of the union for bargaining rights on behalf of certain categories of workers employed by the Company.”

3

The decision of the Tribunal selected in accordance with section 8(2) of the Act to hear the dispute was –

Mr. Basil Lynch

Chairman

Mr. Owen Plant

Employers' Representative

Mr. Edward Dixon

Workers' Representative

4

The Employer was represented by –

Mr. J.F. Pattinson (Legal)

Mr. J. Hopkinson

Mr. A.F. Foster

Mr. D.A. Attride

Mr. D.F. Wilson

5

The Union was represented by –

Mr. Lascelles Perry

Mr. Lloyd Goodleigh

SUBMISSIONS AND SITTINGS
6

Written briefs were submitted by the parties and oral submissions made at five (5) sittings between 9 th June and 4 th August, 1976.

7

Barclays Bank whose head office is at 77 King Street, Kingston, operates many branches throughout the island, — there are 19 such branches in the Corporate Area alone. One such branch is operated on the ground floor at Nos. 1 — 7 Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston — on the second floor of the said premises, the Bank operates a Centralised Computer Department which is the center o the accounting and recording system for its extensive island — wide operations.

8

Seventy-five persons are presently employed at the Computer Centre;

Management

2)

) 18

Supervisors

16)

Programmers

5)

Clerical

5)

Computer Operators

4)

Key Punch Operators

14)

) 57

Tape Librarian

1)

Central Proof Operators

17)

Data Control

11)

9

The claim of the National Workers Union is for bargaining rights on behalf of 57 of these workers — the other 18 representing Management and Supervisors are not being included.

10

The Bank has objected on the grounds that its employees at the Centralised Computer Department do not constitute a “bargaining unit” in respect of which Collective Bargaining could appropriately be carried on.

11

The Tribunal heard arguments from both sides on the question of whether or not certain of the categories set out below should be included or excluded from the bargaining unit;

(a) In the Central Computer Department;

Computer Programmer

Clerical

Computer Operators

Key Punch Operators

Tape Librarian

Central Proof Operators

Computer Data Control Personnel

(b) General staff below supervisory level;

Counter Clerk

Cashier

Input Clerk

Mail Clerk

Telephone Operator

Copy Typist

Clerk Typist

General Ledger Clerk

Clerk

(c) Confidential Staff below Supervisory level;

Personnel Department staff (Head Office)

Manager's Secretaries

Manager's Stenographers

Manager's Typists

12

Regulation 4 of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Regulations, 1975 provides as follows:–

“If there is a dispute as respects the category of workers of whom a ballot should be taken or the persons who should be eligible to vote, the matters which shall be taken into consideration for the purpose of settling the dispute include –

  • (a) the community of interest of the workers in that category, and in particular, whether the duties and responsibilities and work place are identical for all of those workers;

  • (b) the history of collective bargaining in relation to the workers in the employment of the employer concerned, or in relation to workers employed by other employers in the trade or business in which that employer is engaged;

  • (c) the interchangeability of the workers in respect of whom the disputes arises;

  • (d) The wishes of the workers in respect of whom the dispute arises.”

13

The Tribunal has taken these matters into consideration and awards that the categories of workers of whom a ballot should be taken in the ballot to determine the claim of the National Workers Union for bargaining rights on behalf of the workers employed to Barclays Bank should include;

(i) the following categories of staff Supervisory level;

Counter Clerk

Cashier

Input Clerk

Mail Clerk

Telephone Operator

Copy Typist

Clerk Typist

General Ledger Clerk

Clerk

(ii) the following categories in the Central Computer Department;

Clerical

Key Punch Operators

Tape Librarian

Central Proof Operators

14

The Workers' Representative, Mr. Edward Dixon,...

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