Wed | Aug 5, 2020

West anticipating new IDT office in MoBay

Published:Tuesday | November 12, 2019 | 12:20 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Khurt Fletcher
Khurt Fletcher


Employers and trade unionists are waiting with bated breath for next year’s opening of the Western Division of the Industrial Dispute Tribunal (IDT), which is expected to bring relief in settling job-related disagreements in that section of the island.

Khurt Fletcher, island supervisor with responsibly for industrial relations at the National Workers’ Union (NWU), is already counting down.

“Certainly, it will be of great benefit to workers in the west. They won’t have to journey to Kingston anymore to get the justice that they deserve,” he said.

“ ... What you find is that there are a lot of cases, especially in the western region and its environs, that, because the workers have to be weighing that cost-benefit analysis, they don’t seek the type of justice that they are deserving of.

“For instance, when a matter goes to the IDT, and it goes there for five or 10 sittings, that is a cost to the workers and/or their representatives, and/or the union. So they have to juxtapose that against the possible award that they would receive from the Industrial Dispute Tribunal, whether it is wrong or right,” Fletcher added.

He is urging the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ensure that the western office is adequately staffed to ensure that aggrieved workers get the best service possible.

The office, which will be located at the Blue Diamond Plaza in Ironshore, Montego Bay, is expected to become operational early next year.

Brenda Cuthbert, CEO of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), agreed that a western office would make the business of dispute resolution much easier for employers and workers alike.

She said that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which handles industrial disputes, had seen in its own research that it would be important to have a western division to allow more cases to be addressed in the western end of the country.