Bryden & Evelyn Group Ltd v Bustamante Industrial Trade Union
Industrial Disputes Tribunal
No. 7 of 1977
Labour law - Industrial disputes — Wage increases.
Labour law - Industrial disputes — Improved fringe benefits.
The Honourable Minister of Labour, by letter dated 16 th May 1977 in accordance with Section 11 of Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975 referred to the Tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between the EMPLOYER and the TRADE UNION.
The Terms of Reference to the Tribunal are as follows:
“To determine and settle the dispute between Bryden and Evelyn Limited on the one hand, and certain categories of workers employed by the Company and represented by the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union on the other hand, over the union's claim for wage increases and fringe benefits on behalf of the said workers.”
The division of the Tribunal selected in accordance with Section 8(2) of the Act was–
Dr. John Martin
Mr. J. Murray Harris
Mr. Headley Allman
The Employer was represented by–
Mr. Breakspeare (legal)
Mr. Adrian Wallace (legal)
Representing the Company
Mr. P. Mais (legal)
Mr. R. Baugh (legal)
Representing the Receiver
Miss L. Mair
The Trade Union was represented by–
Mr. Lascelles Beckford
Mr. H. Grant
The Company and the Union are parties to a Collective Labour Agreement which expired on 30th September 1976. By letter dated 25th August 1976, the Union submitted claims for improved wage and fringe benefits. Discussions were held between the parties at the local level at which the Company pleaded serious financial difficulties. Nevertheless, these discussions culminated in an offer by the Company of a wage increase of Five Dollars ($5.00) per week to each employee in full settlement of all the claims made by the Union.
This offer was rejected by the Union and the dispute referred to the Ministry of Labour.
Further meetings were held between the parties under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour and at the meeting, on the 7th February 1977, the Company increased its offer to Eight Dollars ($8.00). This offer was made on condition that a go-slow by the workers then in progress would be called off. This offer was also rejected; nevertheless, the Union agreed to instruct a resumption of normal work and to further examine the Company's offer.
A meeting was held at the Company's premises on the 18th February 1977 at which the Company stated that, due to further deterioration of the Company's financial position its offer of $8.00 per week to each employee could only be effective on 1st April 1977, and implemented on 1st July 1977.
At a subsequent meeting on the 26th April, 1977, at which the Honourable Minister of Labour was present, the parties agreed that the dispute should be referred to the Industrial Disputes Tribunal.
Written briefs were submitted to the Tribunal by both parties to the dispute. At the first and second sittings of the Tribunal on 24th June 1977 and 27th June 1975 the Company was represented by Mr. Peter Mais, Attorney. At the meeting on the 27th June, Mr. Beckford made it clear that the only items of its claims against the Company that the Union was pursuing before the Tribunal were as follows–
Claim 1- Vacation leave to be granted on the basis of –
3-5 years of service, 3 weeks leave per annum;
6-9 years of service, 4 weeks leave per annum;
10 years and over, 5 weeks leave per annum.
Claim 5- (a) Severance pay to be granted to employees after a qualifying period of six month's service, on the basis of- 3-5 years' service, 3 weeks' leave per annum; 6-9 years' service, 4 weeks' leave per annum; 10 years and over, 5 weeks per annum, with the necessary notice pay and payment to be made not...
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