Jamaica Omnibus Services Ltd v Union of Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Personnel

 
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Industrial Dispute Tribunal

Lynch, C.; Holness, R.; Dixon, R.

IDT 2 of 1975

Jamaica Omnibus Services Limited
and
Union of Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Personnel

Labour Law - Contract of Employment — Sickness Pay

Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Wage Increases

Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Improved Conditions of Employment

REFERENCE:
1

By letter dated 25th June, 1975, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment in accordance with section 9(6) of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, referred to the Tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between the Employers and certain categories of the Company's by the Trade Union.

2

The division of the Tribunal selected in accordance with section 3(2) of the Act to hear the dispute was as follows:

Mr. B. W. Lynch

Chairman

Mr. Noel Holness

Employers' Representative

Mr. Edward Dixon

Workers' Representative,

PARTIES:
3

Jamaica Omnibus Services Limited was represented by –

Dr. K.O. Rattray

Mr. Hugh Bennick

Mr. F.S. Barrows

Mr. Keith Noad

Mr. N.D. Royes

Mr. F. Hudson

4

The Union of Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Personnel was represented by –

Mr. Earl Witter (Legal)

Mr. Reg. Ennis and several worker delegates were in attendance

SUBMISSIONS AND SITTINGS:
5

The parties submitted written briefs and oral submissions were made when the Tribunal met on 14 occasions over a period covering the 27th June to the 2nd December, 1975.

6

The Union at present represents two separate groups of workers at the Jamaica Omnibus Services.

7

The first group is the “Inspectorate” and the dispute in part concerns the refusal of the Company to pay salary to six Inspectors who had reported sick on or around 27th April, 1975, whilst a strike of Inspectors was in progress. This group consists of approximately 67 Inspectors.

8

The other group is comprised of certain monthly paid staff including Driving Instructors, Foremen, Shift Supervisors, Technical and Clerical Supervisors, Secretaries, Clerical and Accounting staff and others known as “Charge hands” who are weekly paid — in all approximately 100 workers. Prior to March, 1975, when the Union obtained bargaining rights this group was not unionised.

9

The other part of the dispute concerns this other grow and arises from a letter dated 2 nd May, 1975, from the Union to the Company making a 16 point claim for increased wages and improved conditions of service- details of this claim will appear later.

10

The Company replied by letter dated 9 th May, 1975, that it was prepared to negotiate an omnibus agreement with the Union covering all non-monetary items having regard to the existing contract of employment between the recently unionized workers and the Company and having regard to the fact that the last review and adjustment of salary for this group took place on 1 st January, 1975, and was not scheduled for review before 31 st December, 1975.

11

It is reported that a series of conciliation meetings were held at the Ministry of Labour and Employment and at the last one, which took place on 12 th June, 1975, the Company indicated its willingness to negotiate the items of claim with the exception of 9, 10, 13 and 16 which were the “money” items.

12

On 18 th June, the Company received an ultimatum from the Union indicating that industrial action would be taken if its demands were not met by 21 st June — the Company by letter dated 25 th June reported the dispute to the Ministry under section 9 of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act.

13

Industrial action was in fact taken by the Union commencing 25 th June and ending on 27 th June when the Tribunal met for the first time.

14

At the fourth meeting on 30 th July both parties agreed to re-open discussions at the local level on the items of claim including the “money” items with a view to narrowing the dispute at least. Unfortunately, no progress was made and the entire dispute remained for the Tribunal to determine.

15

It is to be noted also that at one stage the competence of the Tribunal to settle the dispute was challenged by the Company but after hearing the legal arguments in support, the Tribunal ruled that it was competent.

AWARD:
16

The first group — “Inspectorate”

It is understood that medical certificates in support of illness are not required by the Company unless the period of illness exceeds 3 days. The six inspectors involved were not absent for 3 days and were therefore not required to submit medical certificates. The Company on the other hand has not proven that the inspectors were not ill; they must therefore be paid wages for the period of illness involved, and we award accordingly.

17

The other group:

CLAIM NO. 1 — LEAVE TO PURSUE TRADE UNION EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES

The Company has indicated that this facility already exists and that it will certainly continue to grant reasonable leave of absence with pay for the purpose. We make no award.

CLAIM NO. 2
  • (a) Check off:- the Company concedes. We make no award.

  • (b) Negotiations & Processing Grievances: The Company...

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