The Playboy Club Hotel v That National Workers Union


Industrial Dispute Tribunal

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

IDT 22 of 1975

The Playboy Club Hotel
That National Workers Union

Labour Law - Trade Unions — Recognition


The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment by letter dated 21 st November, 1975, in accordance with section 5(3) of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, referred to the Tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between the Playboy Club Hotel and the National Workers Union.


The Terms of Reference of the Tribunal were as follows –

“to settle the dispute as respects the category of workers of whom the ballot should be taken or the persons who should be eligible to vote in the ballot to determine the representational rights claim by the National Workers Union for certain categories of workers employed to the Playboy Club-Hotel.”


The division of the Tribunal selected in accordance with section 3(2) of the Act to hear the dispute was –

Dr. John Martin


Mr. Noël Holness

Workers' Representative.


The Employer was represented by –

Mr. Peter Mais (Legal) Mr. Mel Stewart) Mr. Joseph Hylton)

Playboy Club Hotel


The Trade Union was represented by –

Senator Carlyle Dunkley

Mr. Clive Dobson


Mr. Joseph Hylton

Financial Comptroller, Jamaica Playboy Hotel.


The dispute between the Jamaica Playboy Hotel and the National Workers Union of Jamaica resulted from the refusal of the Hotel's Management to concede representational rights to the Union regarding its clerical and supervisory workers. (See attached list Appendix 1). Written briefs were submitted by the parties and oral submissions were made at the three sittings which were held on the 3 rd, 25 th and 26 th February, 1976.


The Company submitted that:

  • (a) there are levels of management which should not be subject to unionization at all, and

  • (b) although there can be no objection to unionization of certain levels of employees, such as junior management and supervisors, a union which already represents rank and file employees in the same organization disqualifies itself from representation of those levels of employees.


The Company argued that if the National Workers Union was accorded bargaining rights, a conflict of interest and loyalty would arise between the rank and file workers and the clerical and supervisory staff. It argued also that problems would result when disciplinary action is taken against the rank and file workers by the supervisory element as they both would belong to the same union.


The National Workers Union submitted that the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, section 4(1) gives worker the right to join the Trade Union of his choice.


The Union argued that the disputed categories of workers (see Appendix 1) would be in a separate bargaining unit having its own terms and conditions. It did not agree that any conflict of interest would arise between the two groups of workers and mentioned Jamintel, Water commission, the Jamaica Railway Corporation and the Sugar Industry where similar categories of workers are represented by the same unions without any evidence o the type...

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