Get the facts right on Jambisco IDT ruling
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am aware of your e-Gleaner edition of June 26, 2012 headlined 'IDT rules in favour of Jambisco workers' and wish to point out some inaccuracies which obviously could have been avoided had your reporter read the Industrial Dispute Tribunal (IDT) award and spoke with a representative of the company.
The facts of the matter are:
1. The dispute centred around a claim by the union that the company had an agreement to implement an external job evaluation. If true, this meant that the company would owe the employees a retroactive payment to 2006.
2. The company's position was that the agreement was for there to be an internal job evaluation which was done and implemented. The company contended throughout the IDT hearing that there was no agreement with the union to conduct any external job evaluation and to implement the results.
The IDT ruled that:
1. There was no agreement as the company had contended to do an external job evaluation between the parties and, therefore, no basis for a retroactive payment to 2006.
2. Jambisco, in the last two negotiations, told the union that it would settle the wage issue as and when it could be afforded, and, therefore, there was an expectation that there would be a settlement.
3. Any implementation of the recommendations which were done in 2006 should be as at April 1, 2011. The effect of this decision is that the union's claim for retroactive pay to 2006 is not sustainable.
For the article published by your newspaper to state that the IDT ruled in favour of the Jambisco workers is not only inaccurate, but misleading, as the main claim for retroactive payments to 2006 would no longer be sustainable, in view of the IDT award.
With respect to the implementation of the 2006 recommendation, the company has already complied through annual increases for the period 2006 to 2011. There is, therefore, no increase in salaries or upward adjustment in compensation arising out of this case.
It is unfair and grossly inaccurate for the union spokesman to convey the impression to readers that Jambisco was unwilling to settle this matter over the years. Through the IDT process, Jambisco made a goodwill offer to the union which was rejected. The company treats fairly with all its employees, be they unionised or not.
It should also be noted that before the start of the IDT hearing, the company, through its attorney-at-law, indicated to the tribunal that a basis for settlement of the matter existed, but despite good-faith negotiations by the company with the union, it was not resolved, and the IDT had to resolve the matter.
Jambisco seeks to be an employer of choice in the local market and guards jealously its relationship with its employee team and the union.
I wish to affirm that the company will always do what is fair and consistent with our values in our treatment of our workers.
The Jamaica Biscuit Co Ltd