P 0 Box 65
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTiE
For The Week Ending July 16th 1977
SWWu/GSA NEGOTIATIONS DEADLOCKED
Negotiations on a claim by the Seamen & Waterfront Workers Union
(SWWU) on the Grenada Shipping Agents (GSA) for a cost-of-living
allowance have become deadlocked.
These negotiations began last December when SWNU submitted a document
to GSA in which the Union sought to prove that the buying power of the
worker's dollar had diminished by 60.2 cents over the period 1971, to
1976. Discussions between the two parties were held on January
27th and, at that time, SWWU increased its original demand for an
across-the-board allowance of 33% to a demand varying from 351 to
40A covering different grades of worker.
Early in March, GSA submitted a memorandum to SWWU dealing in depth
with the issue and claiming that there Is "extremely poor organisation
on the docks as far as the interests of the Grenada Shipping Agents
are concerned". GSA said also, "there is no justification for a
cost of living allowance".
The absence from Grenada of Mr Eric Pierre, Secretary of SWWU, and
other factors delayed continuance of negotiations and SWWU and GSA
did not meet again until Friday July 8th. Sources close to this
meeting say that little progress was made and, in a letter dated July
11th, SWWU accused GSA of being "not serious" in trying to find a
"solution to the present impasse".
Reaction to this has been a letter dated July 13th to SWWU from GSA
stating that "in view of the stand of the Union at the last meeting
and your letter of July 11th, the matter has been referred to the
In an exclusive interview with NEWSLETTER today (14th), Mr Eric Pier
Secretary of SWWU, said he was surprised at the "attitude taken by
GSA and their unrealistic approach to the upward trend of the cost of:
living in Grenada."
A check with the Ministry of Labour today (14th) revealed that thia
matter has not yet reached the Labour Commissioner.
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TH, GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Fnding 1.7.77
economic problems", said Mr Carlisle, "and I hope that, as a
result, we will take back a little more knowledge of your part
of the world which helps us in debates in Parliament to
understand more easily the problems of the Caribbean."
Mr Fitch and Mr Carlisle return to the United Kingdom
GCIWU TO ELEGT OFFICERS
The Grenada Commercial & Industrial Workers Union (GCIWU) will
elect its officers at the Annual General Meeting to be held on
Monday 25th July.
GCIWU was founded in 1956 and the Union's current President,
Mr Fric Pierre, has held that post since then.
GUIDES SUFFERING FROM LACK OF LEADERSHIP
The Girl Guide Movement in Grenada is suffering from a "lack
of members of the Community who are willing to act as leaders."
This was disclosed in the recently published Annual Report for
1'?76 of the Movement's Island Commissioner, Mrs Sybil Archer.
T. her Report, Mrs Archer described 1976 as a "quiet year" and
A;i.- that, while the emphasis for that year was to have been
ca training, not much was accomplished in this direction.
A?;-.t fom lack of leadership support from the Community, the
ITs'nd Commissioner said "other problems, especially in units
s'.Yched to schools, are teachers going to Training Collebe and
'The overall membership of the Guide Movement in Grenada during
1976 wap :-
Brownie Guides 198
Guiders & Assistants 34
Total :- 535
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER 'eke Rd -ing 6.7."'*
As a result, the Secretary of SWWU, Mr Eric Pierre, wrote Geest on
July 11th saying that his Union is "thoroughly fed up with your anti-
industrial relations", and calling upon Geest to pay the deducted
money by 10.00 am on July 12th or the Union would "feel free to take
whatever action it sees fit."
The sum involved was ECB74.39 and NEVSLETTER is advised that this was
paid to the union within 45 minutes of the deadline,"
BRITISH Psa VISIT
Both political parties in Britain have made it clear that they desire
to see what was the British Colonial Empire become independent
In an exclusive interview with NIWSLATTER yesterday (14th), this was
expressed by Mr Mark carlisle, Q C, member of a two-man team of
British Members of parliament now visiting Grenada. "Our history
since World War II shows that very clearly", said Mr Carlisle, "and
we are still anxious to see those countries which remain part of the
British Colonies reach independence when they are in a position to do
so and when it's viable and possible."
The other British Parliamentarian visiting Grenada is Mr Alan Pitch,
Labour Member for Wigan. Mr Carlisle is a member of the
Conservative Party elected to the constituency of Runcorn in Cheshire.
and both Mr Fitch and Mr Carlisle were observers at the Caribbean
Regionnl Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamantary Association
held recently in Barbados. They are now in Grenada as guests of
the Grenada Branch of that Association.
Mr Carlisle said the purpose of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association is to give parliamentarians from different parts of the
British Commonwealth a chance to know each other and to learn about
the various countries. He said this was the first time he had
visited the Westindies and was very impressed with the scenery and
"those wonderful natural resources of the sun and the weather which
we don't have in the United Kingdom."
"This visit has given us an opportunity to learn of your social and
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 16.7.77
"BARBARA" STILL UNDER ARREST
The yacht "Barbara" which was arrested on June 30th as a ireault
of a writ filed in the High Court by the boat's Captain Dan
Meredith, remains under guard berthed at the dock of Grenada
Two days ago, Captain Meredith checked out from the St.James
Hotel where he was registered and it is not known whether he
has left the island. Contacted today (15th), Captain
Meredith's Counsel, Mr Danny Williams, expressed surprise that
his client was not at the hotel and said he did not know whether
he is in Grenada.
The owner of the "Barbara", Mr Robert Moffitt, left Grenada some
five or six days ago and, according to information given by him
in an interview with NEWSLETTER on July 6th, should have gone to
Aruba to "discuss certain business negotiations regarding the boat."
Captain Meredith told NEWSLETTER on June 6th that, because of
Mr Moffitt's "aggressiveness", all members of the crew had left
the ship. Captain Meredith's claim against the owner of the
"Barbara" is for US$930.00 unpaid wages and US$220.00 for plane
fare back to Miami.
INDUSTRIAL ACTION AVERTED
;&i;n the Geest Industries Ltd ship "Geestland" was in Grenada to
loid bananas on July 4th, a difference between the ship's owners
and the Seamen & Waterfront Workers Union (SWWU) threatened
possible industrial action.
Union sources told NEWSLETTER today (14th) that time-off had
been requested of Geest by SWWU for four members of the working
force cu the "Geestland" to go to the airport to receive members
of a visiting team from the Trinidad & Tobago Seamen & Waterfront
Sports Club. This time was granted but, apparently, there
,i, a misunderstanding as to the time the men should return to
',e ship and, when wages were paid, deductions were made from
-mounts due the four men
THh GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 16.7.77
BANANA STATISTICS, AN EXPLANATION
A source close to the Grenada Banana Cooperative society has explinc .
to NEWSLETTER that the figure advised each week as being the "value"
of the shipment is, in reality, the amount paid to banana producers
by the Society and not the amount paid to the Society by the buyers,
Messrs Gecat Industries Ltd.
Amplifying this, the source said that, for the week ending July 9th
when 565,909 Ibs were shipped, Geest paid the Society 28.322 BEC on
that poundage, making a total sum of EC$160,276.00. On this
shipment, producers were paid EC$79,227.00 which is the result of a
calculation of the poundage received at the boxing plants multiplied
by 14 ECO. The rate per pound to be paid to banana producers is
decided by the Government appointed Board of Management, and it was
pointed out that there is always a difference between the poundage
received at the boxing plants abd the poundage shipped.
The difference retained weekly by the Board of Management is utilised
to pay salaries and overheads, to meet the cost of disease control
and, since May 1975, to subsidize the cost of fertilizer. Surpluses
are used to stabilize prices.
It is understood that, commencing on July 5th, the Society has
undertaken a registration of banana growers, and this exercise is
expected to be completed by September 30th. It is estimated that
there are between 11,500 and 2,000 banana producers at the present
CRUISE LINER CALLS
Only one cruise liner called at Grenada during the week ending July
9th. This was the S S "Cunard Countess" with 666 passengers on
Tuesday July 5th.
BARANA H TS
S.S."Geeatcrest" sailed on July th with 23,160 boxes of bananas
weighing 704,914 lbs. Price paid by Geest Industries Ltd was 28.53Y
C10 per pound totaling EC$199,716.00 Price paid to producers wa.
14 ECO per pound but, at time of going to press, the weight of bananai.
received at bcx ig plants is not available. There were 560 boxos
of reject it.
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/ Alister Hughes 15th July 1977