The Jamaica Railway Corporation v Bustamante Industrial Trade Union

 
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Industrial Disputes Tribunal

Martin, C.; Holness, R.; White, R.

IDT 8 of 1976

The Jamaica Railway Corporation
and
Bustamante Industrial Trade Union

Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Wage Increases

Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Improved Fringe Benefits

REFERENCE:
1

By letter dated 10 th February, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, in accordance with section 9 of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, referred to the Tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between the Jamaica Railway Corporation (hourly paid workers), the National Workers Union and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.

2

The Terms of Reference to the Tribunal were as follows:–

“To determine and settle the dispute between the Jamaica Railway Corporation on the one hand and the hourly paid workers represented by the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union and the National Workers Union on the other hand with respect to the claims of the unions for increase wages and improved fringe benefits on behalf of the said workers.”

3

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

Dr. John Martin

Chairman

Mr. Noel Holness

Employers' Representative

Mr. Dorrel White

Workers' Representative

4

The Employer was represented by –

Mr. R. Baugh (Legal)

Mr. J. Pattinson (Legal)

Mr. D.C. Edmunds

Mr. L. Ireland

Mr. R. Headley

Mr. A.G. Irons

Mr. B. Shirley

Mr. E. R. Philip

Mr. N. Brown

Mr. G. Mitchell

Mr. A. Tapper

Miss S. Hall

Mr. R. Channer

Miss L.F. Taylor

Miss Lynda Mair

5

The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union was represented by –

Mr. L. Beckford

Mr. Givan Freeman

6

The National Workers Union was represented by –

Mr. E. Brancroft Edwards

Mr. Aubrey Beckford

Mr. Lloyd Dawkins

Several Worker/Delegates

SUBMISSIONS AND SITTINGS
7

Written briefs were submitted by the parties and oral submissions made at the eleven sittings held on the 6 th, 14 th, 31 st May, 1976; 17 th June, 1976; 2 nd, 5 th, 6 th, 13 th July, 1976 and the 11 th, 13 th, 23 rd August, 1976.

THE UNIONS
8

The Unions submitted that the Railway Worker is making a most vital contribution to the economy of the country but was not reaping enough benefits. The Unions' argument was based on the hardship the workers were experiencing owing to an increasing cost of living.

9

Comparison was made with other institutions and industries in an effort to prove that the railway worker despite exhibiting a greater degree of skill and responsibility was receiving les pay than the workers in such industries.

THE JAMAICA RAILWAY CORPORATION
10

The Jamaica Railway Corporation submitted that it was unable to pay the type of salary increases demanded by the Unions owing to the fall in revenue.

11

It was stated that despite the receipt of revenue of over 4 million dollars, the Corporation still have to depend on government as the overhead expenses were heavy and far outweigh the revenue received. To support its stand, the Corporation submitted copies of the relevant accounts to the Tribunal and the Unions.

AWARD
12

Claim No. 1 DURATION

The Duration of the contract shall be for a period of two years, i.e. January 1, 1976 — December 31, 1977.

13

Claim No. 2 WAGES

Effective 1 st January, 1976, there shall be an increase of $20 per fortnight on all existing wage and a further $20 increase per fortnight on all existing wage as at 1 st January, 1977.

14

Claim No. 3 SENIORITY ALLOWANCE

Effective 1 st January, 1976, workers who have been completed ten continuous years of service shall be eligible for seniority allowance which is to be calculated with the basic weekly rate of pay.

15

Claim No. 4 VACATION LEAVE

Effective January 1, 1976, Vacation Leave shall be as follows:–

1 — 5 years service 2 weeks

5 — 10 service 3 weeks

10 — 15 years service 4 weeks

15 — 20 years service 5 weeks over 20 years service 6 weeks

16

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