Desnoes & Geddes Ltd v National Workers Union


Industrial Disputes Tribunal

Lynch, C.

No. 31 of 1977

Desnoes & Geddes Ltd.
National Workers Union

Labour law - Collective agreement — Wage increases.

Labour law - Collective agreement — Improved fringe benefits.




The Honourable Minister of Labour, by letter dated August 26, 1977, in accordance with Section 11 subsection 1 of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, referred to the


Tribunal for settlement the dispute between The Company and The Trade Union.


The terms of reference were as follows:

“To determine and settle the dispute which exists between Desnoes & Geddes on the one hand, and its unionised workers represented lay the National Workers Union on the other hand, over the Union's claim for increased wages and improved fringe benefits on behalf of the said workers.”


The division of the Tribunal selected in accordance with Section 8(2) of the Act was:

Mr. Basil Lynch


Mr. Omen Plant

Employers' Representative

Mr. Dorrel White

Workers' Representative


The Company was represented by:

Mr. Edward Ashenheim


Mr. K.D. Lewis

Mr. R. Campbell

Mr. D. Coke


The Trade Union was represented by:

Senator Carlyle Dunkley

Mr. Lloyd Goodleigh

Mr. William Iton

Mr. Fred Clarke

Several Workers Delegates

Submissions and Sittings

Written briefs were submitted by the parties and oral submissions made at six sittings held between 6th October and 9th November, 1977.


The Company and the Union are parties to a Collective Labour Agreement dated 1st January, 1975, which in part, expired on 31st December, 1976. By letter dated 25th November, 1976, the Union served a 14-point Claim on the Company for increased wages and improved conditions of service on, behalf of the workers covered by the Agreement.


Particulars of the Union's claim are set out below:

    That this Agreement shall apply to all employees of Desnoes and Geddes Limited, Intel Brow and Desnoes and Geddes Wines Limited. 2. That all Card Punching Employees shall be covered by this Agreement. 3. That continuous sick leave as recommended by a Doctor be given to all employees, and that injuries on and off the job be subject to contractual provisions. 4. That all qualified Oilers be placed in Grades -I and II of Mechanic Category. 5. That Shift Premium be increased to 25¢, per hour for the 2-10PM shift and 30¢ per hour for the 10-6AM shift. 6. That average Commission be paid driver/salesmen and helpers who having reported for work but are unable so to do through no fault of theirs. 7. That Store Attendants category be established and that these employees be graded. 8. That all employees doing skilled work for a period of three (3) months continuous or periodical to be placed in such skilled categories. 9. That employees working in a higher category for two (2) days and over shall be paid the higher rates. 10. That Forklift Operators be grade I and II and that grade III be regarded as a Trainee grade. 11. That eight (8) hours guarantee of premium pay be agreed when premium hours are worked. 12. That Saturdays worked be pay for at double time. 13. That Union Delegates shall be the last to be laid off when lay off becomes inevitable. 14(a) DRIVERS SALESMEN AND HELPERS COMMISSION-INCREASES Household Salesmen 90¢, per 100 full & Empties 10¢ per order. Helpers 70¢ per 100 full & Empties 10¢, per order. Regular Salesmen $1.50 per 100 full & Empties. Helpers 70¢, per 100. Empty Boxes $1.50 per 100. 14(b) General increase of 60% for the first year and 30% for the second year.

The Company also proposed 4 amendments to the Agreement which are indicated hereunder:

    Sick leave not taken is to be paid for on the last payday in January (see Clause 24(6) Page 27 of the Collective Labour Agreement). 2. Sighters and Electronic Inspector Attendants are to be interchangeable. 3. Delete Paragraphs (b) and (c) in Clause 15 of the Collective Labour Agreement and substitute the following as a new paragraph (b) in their place: “(b) If an Employee is late but not more than fifteen minutes late, the Employee will be taken on but will lose fifteen minutes pay.” Amend Paragraph (d), (e) and (f) respectively to Paragraphs (c), (d) and (e). 4. The new amended plant rules and regulations are to be ratified.

The Union's Claim


At the meeting of the Tribunal on 31st October the parties reported that agreement has been reached on claim 1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 10 — a copy of the agreement dated 9 th November 1977 is attached.


The award of the Tribunal on the other items of Claim follows:


Claim No. 3 Continuous Sick Leave


The Collective Labour Agreement provides for the grant of sick leave pay up to a maximum of 14 working days at basic hourly rate.


The Tribunal awards that in the case of continuous illness or in disposition the worker be granted additional sick leave on full pay excluding all premium up to a maximum of 10 working days and, if necessary, additional sick leave up to a maximum of 40 working days at half pay these additional periods of sick leave to be granted on the certificate of the Company's doctor and only on the expiry of the original 14 days mentioned earlier.


Claim No. 5 Shift Premium


15 cents and 20 cents per hour are presently being paid for the 2-10 p.m. and 10 — 6 a.m. shifts respectively. The Tribunal makes no award.


Claim No. 6 Payment of Average Commission


The Tribunal makes no award.


Claim No. 7 Store Attendants


There is no justification for establishing a Store Attendants category and the Tribunal accordingly makes no award.


Claim No. 11 Guarantee of 3 Hours Premium Pay


The Tribunal awards that a worker who is required to work after completion of his normal 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week shall be guaranteed a minimum of 4 hours at premium rate- this does not apply where a worker is given notice prior to his ‘stopping’ time that he will be required to continue working on the said day.


Claim No. 12 Work on Saturdays Guarantee of 8 Hours at Time and One Half


This claim is confined to a maintenance worker, who is rostered; has already completed his 40 hour work week and is called out on a Saturday on an ‘ad hoc’ basis to do a job which may take an hour or two to complete. He is at present paid at the rate of time and one half for the hours worked.


The Tribunal awards that in such cases the worker be guaranteed a minimum of 4 hours pay at premium rate.


Claim No. 13 Union Delegates


The Tribunal awards that...

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