Esso West Indies Ltd v National Workers Union

 
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Industrial Dispute Tribunal

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

IDT 17 of 1976

Esso West Indies Limited
and
National Workers Union

Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Terms of Employment

REFERENCE:
1

By letter dated 18 th March, 1976 the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, under the provisions of section 9 (6) of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, referred to the ?tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between the employer and the Trade Union with the following Terms of Reference-

“to determine and settle the dispute between Esso W.I. Limited on the one hand, and the unionized workers employed by the Company and represented by the National workers Union on the other hand, over wages and terms and conditions of employment.”

2

The division of the Tribunal selected in accordance with section 8(2) of the Act was –

Mr. Basil Lynch

Chairman

Mr. Owen Plant

Employers' Representative

Mr. Edward Dixon

Workers' Representative

3

The Employer was represented by –

Mr. Vernon Meikle

Mr. Ramon Gordon

Mr. Michael King

4

The Trade Union was represented by –

Mr. Lascelles Perry

Mr. Donovan Hunter

A number of worker/delegates were in attendance

SUBMISSIONS AND SITTINGS
5

On referring the matter to the Tribunal, we were advised that Industrial Action was in progress and consequently the parties were invited to a meeting on the same day (18 th March, 1976) in an effort to restore normalcy.

6

As there was no voluntary agreement to resume work, the Tribunal served on the parties an Order to Cease Industrial Action with effect from the 19 th March, 1976. Work was resumed on that day.

7

Subsequently, written briefs were submitted and oral submissions made at the eight sittings held between the 29 th March and the 18 th May, 1976.

8

The latest collective Labour Agreement between the company and the Union became effective on the 17 th January, 1974 and expired on 16 th March, 1976; the present dispute arises from a 27 point claim served on the Company in a letter from the Union dated 12 th January, 1976.

9

At the first meeting with the Tribunal on the 18 th March, the parties agreed to endeavour to settle by negotiations such items of the dispute as was possible at the “local level.” As a result substantial agreement was reached on several items of the Claim. “vide” Memo of Agreement dated 2 nd June, 1976 attached; leaving the balance to be determined by the Tribunal.

10

The Award of the Tribunal on these items of claim appears below. In making its Award, the Tribunal has taken the following factors into account;

  • (a) Existing hourly rates range from a low of $1.49 and $1.62 (the recruiting grades) to a high of $1.97 and $3.49 depending on the particular department. In addition the workers receive generous fringe benefits.

  • (b) The urgent need to exercise that measure of restraint which the economic circumstances of the country require; and

  • (c) Observance of the principles set out in the Government's Wage Guidelines indicate an award of one year's duration only.

THE AWARD
11

Claim No. 1 WAGES

The Union is seeking an increase of not less than 80% on all wages. On the basis of the criteria set out in the Wage Guidelines, the increase in the Cost of Living Index at March, 1976, over the Wage Index indicates that a wage increase of 25% would be justifiable.

We accordingly Award an increase of 255 over and above existing wages.

12

Claim No. 2 DURATION OF CONTRACT

The duration of this Award shall be 1 year from 17 th March, 1976.

13

Claim No. 6(a) & (b) CONTRACTORS CLAUSE

We make no Award.

14

Claim No. 7 (a)(b) & (c) FUEL ALLOWANCE

We make no award.

15

Claim No. 8 SENIORITY ALLOWANCE

We make no Award.

16

Claim No. 9 WAGE PROGRESSION SYSTEM

We make no Award.

17

Claim No. 10 SHIFT PREMIUM

We make no Award.

18

Claim No. 13 SURVIVORS BENEFIT

We make no Award.

19

Claim No. 17 DISCOMFORT ALLOWANCE

We make no Award.

20

Claim No. 18 OVERTIME

  • (a) We make no Award.

  • (b) We make no Award.

  • (c) We Award triple time for work on Public Holidays with the first four hours guaranteed if the holiday falls on the employee's rest day.

  • (d) We make no Award.

  • (e) We Award that work on a Sunday as part of the scheduled work week shall be paid for at double time.

21

Claim No 19(b) Payment in lieu of Sick Leave not taken.

We make no Award.

22

Claim No. 21 ACCIDENT INSURANCE

This claim has been withdrawn by the Union. We accordingly make no Award.

23

Claim No. 22 LUBE PLANT

We make no Award.

24

Claim No. 23 CHANGES IN EXISTING AGREEMENT

  • (a) We make no Award.

  • (b) We Award that Clause 11(iii) in the existing agreement be worded as follows:–

    • “All hours worked beyond the end of the scheduled work day as defined in this Agreement to be paid at the appropriate overtime rate.”

OTHER PROBLEMS
25

The Company brought to the attention of the Tribunal certain problems it was experiencing in the operation of the refinery in particular –

  • (a) it was obliged to keep the refinery operational on a 24 hour basis — however when workers did not report on schedule for one reason or other it was becoming increasingly difficult to attract other workers for duty, despite the premium rates;

  • (b) it was very concerned at what it describes as the unusually high rate of...

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