Demerara Timbers, Guyana Labour Union sign bargaining pact
September 17, 2002
Demerara Timbers Ltd (DTL) has recently moved to recognise the Guyana Labour Union (GLU) as the sole bargaining agent for some of its employees at its Mabura and Linden sites.
In a recent memorandum of agreement, the parties recognised the importance of maintaining stable industrial relations in the interest of the company and its employees.
“In this regard both parties firmly believe that this mutual interest would be better achieved if questions arising between them are discussed and settled without stoppage of work,” the agreement said.
The union, once recognized, is expected to proceed in accordance with the provisions of the Trades Union Recognition Act, observing that the agreement for the settling of disputes and grievances is observed before the resort to strike action, or the withdrawal of service.
The parties also agreed that joint interest in the company is shared by both the employers and employees thus it is both the responsibility of the union and the company to work towards a spirit of trust and confidence so as to develop and maintain common interests.
They further recognised that both have designated rights and responsibilities in asserting their common interests.
In respect of employers, the agreement stipulates that it is the responsibility of the employer to organise, direct and control its business so as to ensure the highest degree of prosperity and security for its employees.
Further, management has the responsibility to determine such activities the company shall engage in including the introduction of technical improvements and methods of operation while deciding on the levels of employment needed.The company is also entitled to give due notice to the union of the retirement, dismissal or laying off of any employee while establishing a proper procedure for the administering of discipline in collaboration with the union.
On the part of the employee, the agreement says that it is their right, if they so wish, to join the union. In this sphere the union has the right to represent its members though the development, protection and maintenance principles and practices of trade unionism so that their social and economic status is advanced to the greatest possible extent.
In carrying out these responsibilities the union will have the right to act as bargaining agent in negotiation of agreements and obtain access to management in accordance with established procedures as outlined in the agreement.
As part of the agreement, the company recognises the union’s right to appoint a representative and a deputy to act in his absence. Their service will however not be unduly utilised during working hours save and except for the involvement when necessary in negotiations with the company on the union’s behalf.
This must be with the expressed permission of the company and his status will not be affected as a result of his appointment.
During negotiations provision has been made in the agreement against any lockouts or stoppage of work whether partial or of a general nature by employees.
An employee being terminated or suspended shall be entitled to request a review of the decision under the foregoing grievance procedure. The company shall consider such a request without undue delay.
Questions of interpretation and application of the agreement or others entered into by the company and the union, which they fail to agree upon shall be directed to the chief labour officer for conciliation.