Shell Company (W.I.) Ltd v National Workers Union
Industrial Disputes Tribunal
No. 28 of 1977
Labour law - Industrial disputes — Wage increases.
Labour law - Industrial disputes — Improved fringe benefits.
The Honourable Minister of Labour, by letter dated 17 th August 1977 in accordance with Section 9 of Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975 referred to the Industrial Disputes Tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between The Company and The Union.
The Terms of Reference to the Tribunal are as follows:
“To determine and settle the dispute between The Shell (W.I.) Company on the one hand, and the monthly paid employees of the Company represented by the National Workers Union on the other hand, with respect to the claim of the Union dated November 8, 1976, served on the Company for the increased wages and improved fringe benefits on behalf of the said monthly paid employees.”
The division of the Tribunal selected in accordance with Section 8(2) of the Act was –
Mr. Basil Lynch
Mr. Gerald Groves
Mr. Edward Dixon
The Company was represented by –
Mr. Howard Hamilton
Mr. Roy Robotham
Mr. Frank Lopez
The Trade Union was represented by–
Mr. Lascelles Perry
Mr. W. Buchannan
Mr. L. McKenzie
Written briefs were submitted by the parties and oral submissions made at four sittings held on the 22nd, 24th and 31st August and the 21st September 1977.
The Company and the Union were parties to a Collective Labour Agreement covering the period 1st January 1975 to 31st December 1976 and by letter dated 8 th November 1976, the Union served a Twelve- point Claim on the Company for increased wages and improved working conditions.
During the hearings, six of these claims were withdrawn, primarily for further discussions at the local level, leaving the remaining six for determination the Tribunal.
The Claims withdrawn were–
No. 6- Meal Allowance
No. 7- Medical Scheme
No. 9- Sick Leave
No.11- Local Travelling
The Claims for determination by the Tribunal and its award in each case are set out below–
No. 1- Duration of Contract
The Union is seeking a one-year contract — the Company would prefer a two-year contract, “possibly with a wage reopener clause after the expiration of one year.”
The Tribunal awards a one-year contract commencing from 1st January 1977.
No. 2- Wages
The members of the bargaining unit comprises–
$767.53 per month
Accounting Machine Operator I
$613.94 per month
$560.50 per month
Accounting Machine Operator II
$479.36 per month
Clerks II and Stenographers II
$427.10 per month
The Union sought a 38% across-the-board increase ranging from a high of $67.33 per week in the case of ungraded Clerk to a low of $37.55 per week in the of Clerk II and Stenographers II.
As regards prior negotiations, the following extract is quoted verbatim from the...
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