Jamaica Sugar Estates Ltd v Bustamante Industrial Trade Union


Industrial Disputes Tribunal

Tomlinson, C.

No. 63 of 1978

Jamaica Sugar Estates Ltd.
Bustamante Industrial Trade Union

Labour law - Industrial disputes — Wage increases.


By letter dated 27th September, 1978, the Honourable Minister of Labour in accordance with section 11(a)(1)(a) of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act 1978 referred to the tribunal for settlement, a 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 Jamaica Estates Limited on the one hand and certain managerial supervisory, engineering, technical, bookkeeping, data and clerical categories of staff represented by the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union on the other hand over claims served on the company by the union in a letter dated March 21, 1978, for increased wages and improved fringe benefits on behalf of the said categories of workers employed by the company”.


The division of the tribunal selected to hear the dispute, in accordance with section 8(2) of the Act was comprised of –

Mr. L. M. Tomlinson — Chairman

Mr. H. I. London — Member

Mr. D. S. White — Member


The employer was represented by –

Mr. David Edwards — General manager of Jamaica Sugar Estates

Mr. Noel Rennie — Sugar Producers Federation of Jamaica

Mr. Robert Baugh — legal

Mr. O. Francis


The union was represented by –

Rt. Hon. Hugh Shearer

Mr. Bartholomew Smith

Mr. Neville Harvey

Mr. Robert Simpson

Mr. Vincent Wilkie

Mr. Albert Abrahams

Several worker/delegates


Submissions and Sittings


Written briefs were submitted by both parties and oral submissions made at three (3) sittings held on the 14 th November, the 20 th November and 12 th December, 1978.


Background to the dispute


The company's main submission was based on “inability-to-pay”. However on the 9th May, 1978 they had made an offer of 20% increase to the workers was rejected by the union as being inadequate.


The union's main submission was that the high cost of living and...

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