The Jamaica Railway Corporation v Bustamante Industrial Trade Union
Industrial Disputes Tribunal
Martin, C.; Holness, R.; White, R.
IDT 8 of 1976
Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Wage Increases
Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Improved Fringe Benefits
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.
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.”
The division of the Tribunal selected in accordance with section 8(2) of the Act to hear the dispute was –
Dr. John Martin
Mr. Noel Holness
Mr. Dorrel White
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
The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union was represented by –
Mr. L. Beckford
Mr. Givan Freeman
The National Workers Union was represented by –
Mr. E. Brancroft Edwards
Mr. Aubrey Beckford
Mr. Lloyd Dawkins
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 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.
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 submitted that it was unable to pay the type of salary increases demanded by the Unions owing to the fall in revenue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
To continue readingREQUEST YOUR TRIAL