Decline in Industrial Disputes


The number of industrial disputes reported to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for the 2004/05 fiscal year fell to 131, from 165 for the previous year.
Making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House on May 17, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Horace Dalley attributed the decrease of industrial disputes to dialogue between the parties involved.
The Minister also informed that the total man-days lost through work stoppages fell dramatically from 24,263 in the 2003/04 fiscal year to 1,393 in 2004/05.
“It is also because of this emphasis on dialogue why we have been able to resolve the protracted dispute between Air Jamaica Holdings and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, which not only threatened the viability of the airline, but also threatened to derail the Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the trade unions,” he added.
Mr. Dalley said the industrial relations system in the country must place greater reliance on dialogue and the utilisation of the machinery for the settlement of industrial disputes.
“We urge dialogue and respect for the legal framework, which guide our labour relations practice. In the end I believe it is clear that the government has an obligation, a moral duty to take the necessary action against any transgression of the laws,” he said.
The Minister explained that in the final analysis, “the parties in any dispute must realise that the effectiveness of negotiation is about compromise and that it is not every time that you go to the table you are to get all you want”. “You will always have to give up something to gain something else and this is the spirit which must characterise negotiations at all levels,” Mr. Dalley added.

JIS Social