Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd v Bustamante Industrial Trade Union


Industrial Dispute Tribunal

Lynch, C.; Plant, R.; White, R.

IDT 1 of 1975

Jamaica Public Service Co. Ltd.
Bustamante Industrial Trade Union

Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Removal of Manager


The Honourable Minister of Labour and employment by letter dated 25 th June, 1975, in accordance with section 11 of the Labour relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, referred to the Tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited on the one hand and its Clerical employees represented by the National Workers Union and certain hourly paid employees represented jointly by the National Workers Union and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union on the other hand.


The Division of the tribunal selected under the provisions of section 3 (2) of the Act, to hear the dispute was comprised of:

Mr. Basil Lynch


Mr. Owen Plant

Employers' Representative

Mr. Dorrel White

Workers' Representative


The Jamaican Public Service Company Limited was represented by –

Mr. Robert Saugh — Legal

Mr. Leroy Brown

Mr. D.F. Smikle


The Unions were represented at various stages of the proceedings by

Mr. K.B. Knight


Senator Carlyle Dunkley

National Workers Union

Mr. William Virtue

National Workers Union

Mr. R. Furkiss

National Workers Union

Mr. Lascelles Perry

National Workers Union

Mr. Paul Stone

National Workers Union

Mr. Barry Wright

Bustamante Industrial Trade Union

Mr. R. Walter


Mrs. L. HcGhie



The parties submitted written briefs and made oral submissions during the hearing that were conducted on 15 occasions over the period 26 th June, 1975 to 9 th February, 1976.


In addition eight witnesses were called to give evidence — five on behalf of the unions and three on behalf of the Company.


The dispute which caused the stoppage of work between June 24 th to June 26 th, 1975, is centered on one Mr. Cecil McDermott who was appointed Manager of the Purchasing and Stores Department on 10 th February, 1975. The Clerical workers in the Department requested his removal on the grounds that he was not a competent manager; they did not want his dismissal — only his removal.


It was reported that the then Chairman of the Company while he was not prepared to accede to this request was however prepared to put in a work study group — Management and the Union, to look into the organization of the Department. This was not satisfactory to the Union involved (N.W.U.) and the work stoppage occurred.


At this stage it would be useful to take some account of Mr. McDermott's service in the Company leading up to his present appointment and his training and experience for the post. Between September, 1958 and March, 1966, while he was attached to Hunts Day Power Station he was promoted from Switchboard Operator, to Assistant Plant Operator to Plant Operator, to Control Room Operator and to Shift Operator.


On 1 st March, 1967, he was made Shift Charge Supervisor in training at Old Harbour and on 1 st September, 1968, Shift Charge Supervisor — Old Harbour. He remained there until October, 1971 when he was...

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