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The Government is planning to establish a branch of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) in Montego Bay, St. James, next year.

This was disclosed by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, during the IDT’s Christmas luncheon, held at Heather’s Garden Restaurant in New Kingston, on December 13.

“Come next year, we will be looking more deeply into the matter to try and get a branch of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal established in Montego Bay, so that workers in that area of the island who have disputes will be able to access the IDT there,” he said.

He argued that the work of the Tribunal is a significant one in keeping the business of industrial relations going in the country, adding that it has done a lot in helping to maintain industrial peace and harmony.      

“The IDT is one of those organizations that do not operate within the sphere of publicity, but the work that the IDT does in keeping the lid on industrial disputes in settling them amicably on behalf of workers and employers and ensuring that the country maintains a stable industrial climate, cannot be measured at all,” the Minister said.

Mr. Kellier said amendment of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act (LRIDA), to enable non-unionized individuals to take their dispute to the IDT, has put a strain on their work load, so another office would assist greatly to deal with disputes.

The House of Representatives recently passed legislation granting access to the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) to non-unionized workers, who have disputes with their employers.

In the meantime, Mr. Kellier said he will be meeting formally with the Executive members of the IDT.

The Industrial Disputes Tribunal has been the final level of the system of dispute resolution in Jamaica.