P 0 Box 65
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
For The Week Ending June 10th 1978
LIAT/TAWU DISPUTE FOR ARBITRATION
The industrial dispute between LIAT (1974) Ltd and the Technical
& Allied Workers Union (TAWU) is to be aired before an Arbitration
Tribunal. Members of the Trub4nal are Mr Adrian Date, retired
Judge of the Supreme Court (Chairman), Mr George Brizan, economist,
(nominated by TAWU), and Mr Elvin St.Bernard, retired Judge of the
Supreme Court (nominated by LIAT).
The dispute arises out of negotiations for a new Agreement to
replace the Agreement which expired on 31st December 1977. The
Union and the Company met for the first time for negotiations on
February 28th, and an informed source told NEWSLUTTER it was clear
from then that there would be difficulty in reaching agreement.
On April 19th, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of the
Labour Commissioner, Mr Robert Robinson, but no progress was made
and the matter was referred to the Minister for Labour, Mr Roy
St.John. Mr St.John met with the Union and the Company on
April 20th and, that meeting failing to produce any results, it
was decided that the matter be put to arbitration.
The terms of reference were decided at a meeting held by the Union
and the Company with the Labour Commissioner on May 19th, and the
Tribunal is due to hold its first meeting on Monday June 12th.
There are nine heads under which the Tribunal will make awa da.
The first is Wages in which there is a considerable gap to be
bridged. The Union demands a 75% increase for 2 years on all
existing salaries while the Company offers a 5% increase in each
of 3 years,.
Under the head of Allowances, the Union demands increases in
subsistence, meal allowance, breakfast allowance and laundry
allowance to EC#.2.00 (per day), EC07.00, EC$5.00(per shift) and
EC$12.00 (per month) respectively. The Company proposes that
these allowances remain as existing at EC$8.50, EC#5.00, EC$3.00
THE GREADA NEMSBLTThR Week Ending 10.6.78
A new allowance demanded by the Union is compensation for travel
time to and from Pearls airport. The Company resists this
TAWJ's demands for Uniforms for male and female staffand for
Airport attendants are an increase over what is set out in the
last Agreement. The Company proposea,that uniforms to which
employees are entitled should remain unchanged.
Unable To Afford
LIAT has stated that, at this time, the Company is unable to
afford a Pension Scheme, but the Union demands that such a
scheme be implemented immediately.
Concerning Rick TLere, the Union is not in agreement with the
LIAT proposal that medically certified absence be limited to
a total of 6 days annually.
The Company proposes that Maternity Leave be granted once in 3
years; TAWU requests that the existing Agreement be unchanged
on this point.
The Company wishes to have an amendment to the existing clause
in the Agreement dealing with Retrenchment and Lay-offs. This
amendment would insert a provision dealing with temporary lay-
offs without severance pay; TAWU resists this.
There is considerable difference between the Union and the
Company on the question of Severance Pay. The Company
proposes that employees be paid at the rate of 2 weeks basic
pay for each completed year of service up to 6 years, 3 weeks
basic pay from 7 to 12 years, and 4 weeks for each year for
13 years and over.
The Union counter proposes that employees be paid 3 weeks pay
per year for weekly paid employees after 2 years service, and
1 month's pay per year for monthly paid employees after 2
The final head to be argued before the Tribunal is that of
the Duration of the Agreement. The new Agreement will
come into force on January 1st 1978 and the Company proposes
THE GRANADA Nh.ESLETTER Week Ending 10.6.78
that it remain in force until 31 st December t981. TAWU demands
that the Agreement remain in force for two years only.
A source close to the Company disclosed to NEWSLETTER today (9th)
that LIAT's position will be put before the Tribunal by Mr Andre
Jessamy, a Trinidad barrister speoialising in industrial affairs.
The source said also that Mrs Carol potter, LIAT's Personnel
Manager stationed in Antigua, will be in Grenada for the hearings.
Mr Curtis Stewart, TAWU President, is out of the State and no
information is available relative to the Union's representative
at the hearings.
MP ASS SPEAKER FOR QUOTED
Mr Unison Whiteman, Member of the House of Representatives
suspended by Speaker Alison Reason at a sitting of the House of
Representatives on May 24th, has written the Speaker asking for a
quote of a statement he is alleged to have made.
Mr Whiteman's letter, dated June 2nd, says in part, "Tae position
is that, up to this moment, I still do not know the statement for
which, in effect, I have been suspended. Let me also add that,
in any event, you have, so far, failed to tell me the duration of
Contacted on the telephone today (9th) and asked to comment on
Mr Whiteman's letter, Speaker Reason expressed the opinion that
NEBRSL.LTTER "should know better than that." "The matter took
place in parliament", he said, "and it was given the fullest
treatment, and ir Whiteman ought to know everything. In the
proceedings, I read out the Standing Order in detail and I
quoted what the thing was, and I don't think I should be
questioned on that."
NEWSLETTER pointed out that Mr Whiteman's suspension is a public
matter and it was in order for the news media to seek information.
NEWSLETTER said he did not consider he was doing anything wrong
in approaching the Speaker in this connection. "You may not",
Mr Reason replied, "but I think you should use your best judgement
Alister Hughes .
THE GRKEADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending t.0.676
in this matter."
Speaker Reason declined to say whether Mr Whiteman has been told
what his alleged offending statement is and the length of his
suspension from the House, but he did refer N3W8LSLTTER to Rule 5
of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives.
This Rule reads :-
Presiding In The House And In Committee
1. The Speaker, or in his absence, the Deputy Speaker, or in their
absence, a Member of the House not being a Member of the
Cabinet, elected by the House for the sitting,shall preside
at the sittings of the House and shall act as Chairman of
committees of the whole House.
2. Save as otherwise provided in these Standing Orders, the
Deputy Speaker or other Member presiding shall have all the
authority and power of the Speaker when presiding or
otherwise performing the function of the Speaker.
3. The Speaker may without any formal oommuniodion to the
House or to the committee request the Deputy Speaker to
take the chair.
4. The Speaker tn the House and the Chairman in the Committee
shall have power to regulate the conduct of business in all
matters not provided for in these Standing Orders.
5. The Speaker shall be responsible for the management and
general administration of the House.
6. The decision in all cases of which these Standing Orders
do not provide shall lie with the discretion of the Speaker
and shall not be open to challenge.
NLWSLLTTER contacted Mr Whiteman today (9th) and asked for his
comments on Mr Reason's reference to Rule number 5. Mr Whiteman
said he was "completely at a loss" to understand. what Mr Reason
had in mind. "Reference to this rule gives me no
indication of what my alleged offence is", he said, "nor am
I any the wiser as to the length of my suspension."
Mr Whiteman said that section 6 of the rule Mtght be what
tha Speaker thought was relevant to the matter, but he
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 10.6.78
pointed out that the Standing Orders do provide for the matter
of suspension and that Ahis does not lie "within the discretion
of the Speaker."
CORPORATION MANAGER ATTENDS COURSE /
Mr Roy Banfield, Manager of the Gr.enada Agricultural and
Industrial Development Corporation, is now attending a projects
evaluation course in Barbados.
In an exclusive interview with NEWSLATTER in Barbados on Wednesday,
(7th) Mr Banfield said the object of the course is to provide
participants with a good working knowledge of up-to-date financial
and economic analysis techniques.
The course, which is sponsored by the World Bank in cooperation
with the Inter-American Development Bank and the CwEibbean
Development Bank, is, according to Mr Banfield, herily weighted
towards the applied approach. To this end, several assignments
involving actual field projects will be undertaken in Trinidad
during the period 17th to 28th of this month.
Referring to the type of project which the participants are being
trained to evaluate, Mr Banfield said this covered both those
financed by Governments and those financed by the private sector.
"Both of these areas in the Caribbean are in short supply of this
sort of technology", Mr Banfield said, "and, bearing in mind the
economic evolution taking place in the Caribbean today, this
course is well timed."
With the exception of Montserrat, all CARICOM countries are
represented on the course and there is also a representative from
the Bahamas. The course ends on July 7th.
OPPOSITION "UNITED FRONT" IN DOMINICA /
All non-Government Parliamentarians in the Dominica House of
Assembly are to form a "united front". This was disclosed to
NWSLI.TTER by the Leader of the Opposition in the Dominica House,
Miss Eugenia Charles, in an exclusive interview in Dominica on
THi GRINADA NEWSLETTER Keek Finding 40.6.78
connection, the sources thought Mr John's political leanings
were indicated when his wife joined a delegation which visited
Cuba in January 1977 under the auspices of the Dominica-Cuba
In a public statement, Mr Parillon, who headed the Ministry of
Home Affairs, labelled Mr John's reasons for the dismissal as
"false and misleading." "The reasons for my dismissal
originate from the invitation by me to the Police to investigate
the land transfer deal of L I Austin who also happens to be
Attorney General", he said. Mr Parillon was referring to
alleged improper conduct by Attorney General Austin, which matter
is now the subject of a libel action in the Dominica Courts.
Following his dismissal as a Minister on Janursy 25th, Mr Parillon
resigned from the Dominica Labour Party a week later. Mr Douglas,
however, did not resign until April 26th and, prior to that date,
conducted a vigorous public campaign against the leadership of
the Labour party.
Mr Douglas rejected the reasons given by Premier John for his
dismissal and, at the time of his resignation, said he had been
waiting for the Executive of the Party to take the matter up with
a view to having him reinstated. "'his they have failed to do",
he said, "and I believe three months is a long enough period."
During NELWSLTTER's recent visit to Dominica (3rd to 6th June),
preparations were being made for island-wide town and village
Council elections. These elections are not being contested
openly on a party basis, but campaigns are being waged by groups
composed of persons who have a clear bias towards one political
party or another.
In this connection, Mr Michael Douglas is contesting the
Portsrouth Town Council elections with four other persons and it
is speculated that this group may be the nucleus of a third
political party in Dominica. It sL also speculated that, with
Mir Douglas' group running against the group known to favour the
Freedom Party, strains may be brought to bear on the "united
THE GRZNADA NEWSLhTTER Week Ending 10.6.78
Miss Charles said this action does not mean that the
Paliamentarians in the "united front" now all belong to her
Freedom Party. "This is by no means so", she said; "but what
it does mean is that those of us in the House of Assembly who
are in opposition to the Government have' decided to have a
united front so that we can show the way Government should go
for the benefit of the people of Dominica."
In the Dominica House of "saembly, the freedom Party has 5
representatives. Also in opposition are three independents,
two of whom are recently dismissed Ministers of the ruling
Dominica Labour Party. These ex-Ministers, Messrs Michael
Douglas and Ferdinand Parillon, were relieved of their posts
by Premier Patrick John on January 25th last, and there has
been considerable speculation as to the reason for the
In a national broadcast, Premier John gave as one of his
principal reasons for the Cabinet shuffle the fact of his
belief that there was a Communist threat to Dominica in which
certain of his key men were involved. Mr John said also
that the shuffle had been necessary because, due to utterances
by members of the Government, local and international opinion
was critical of his Government's position in relation to its
stand on Communism.
Informed sources in Dominica told NEW&SLETER that these reasons
do not appear to be those which motivated the Premier to
dismiss Messrs Douglas and Parillon. It was pointed out
that, although Mr Douglas is the brother of Mr Rosie Douglas,
a declared Marxist and political activist, Mr Michael Douglas'
role in the island's politics has been one of middle-of-the-
road. The sources said that, in the case of Mr Parillon,
his politics are even more to the right than Mr Douglas.
i'hwSLETTER was told that, contrary to being opposed to the
politics of the left, Premier John has developed close links
with the Socialist Government of Guyana. Also in this
Ti; GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending tO.f.78
front" in the House of Assembly.
Dominica's next General Elections are in 1980.
DOMINICA'S CHARLES WRITES BRITAIN'S ROWLANDS /
The Leader of the Opposition in the Dominica House of
Assembly, Miss Eugenia Charles, has told the British Under-
Secre.tary for Foreign & Com:monwealth Affairs, Mr Edward Rowlands,
that she feels that Britain is not interested in anything the
Dominica opposition has to say on the matter of independence.
In a letter dated May 22nd addressed to Mr Rowlands, Miss Charles
said it angered her to see the lengths to which officials of the
Foreign Office will go in their attempts to say that the terms
of Section 10(2) of the West Indies Act are open to the choice
of the Associated State.
Section 10(2) of the West Indies Act reads, "Her Majesty may at
any time, by Order in Council, made in respect of any Associated
State, terminate the statue of association of that State with
the United Kingdom as from such date as may he specified in the
"I have read with great care the minutes of the meetings held
with the leaders of the associatedd States. prior to the granting
of the 1967 Constitution", Miss Charles told Mr Rowlands, "and
I would like the Foreign Office officials to explain the meaning
of the requirement by the said leaders that when 10(2) was being
applied, then 6 months notice should be given by the British
The letter from the Leader of the Opposition continued, "If it
was contemplated then that the Associated States could use 10(2) by
merely requesting the British Government to grant independence,
what would be the value of insistence by them (the Associated
SLatea) that they should at least be given 6 months notice ?
I would have expected the Foreign Office to be more honest in
its approach and to state quite clearly that they misinterpreted
the application of 10(2) in the case of Grenada and that they will
THi GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 10.6.78
not perpetuate the error."
I Defy You
In her letter to Mr Rowlands, Miss Charles took exception to a
statement made by him which she quotes as, "Major political
parties in Dominica are agreed in principle that'Dominica's
status of association with the United Kingdom should be terminatedU
"I defy you to quote any statement df mine written or verbal which
is in accordance with that statement of yours", Miss Charles told
the Under-Secretary of State. "I have never risen higher that
that 'independence is inevitable but the WHEN and the HOW is for
the population of Dominica."
Miss Charles said she had pointed out "time and time again" that
if the British Government wished to terminate Dominica's
Associate Statehood, then the British Government must "say so in
clear and simple words and must give the agreed six months
notice." She pointed out to Mr Rowlands that the British
Government had "steadfastly refused" to do this.
Tabulating all the points relative to the proposed Dominica
Constitution in connection with which there was no agreement
between the Government and Opposition in Dominica, the Leader of
the Opposition told Mr Rowlands that the Opposition's viewpoint
had had very little consideration by the Dominica Government.
uiss Charles said that, in spite of this, Mr Rowlands had stated
that "the gap between Government and the Opposition is narrowing."
"WhTat basis you have for making the statement is to me a mystery",
Miss Charles said. "After we returned home from the May
Conference, the premier and I met only once and that at my request
and only after a week of telephone calls attempting to arrange the
meeting. We have never had any discussions since. Nor have
we exchanged any correspondence. But, you and your officials
of the Foreign Office insist on stating that the Premier has bent
over backwards in accommodating the Opposition's requirements for
The Leader of the Opposition said she had noted that the trend in
the official arguments now appears to be that it is purely
internal matter (and not to be considered by the British
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 10.6.78
Government) whether or not the Government of Dominica holds a
referendum or election before independence. "So", she told
Mr Rowlands, "we come full circle to the proper interpretation
of Sections 10(1) and 10(2) of the West Indies Act."
DOaINICA' S UNITED FRONT CONDEMaS BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE *
'he recently formed United Front of Opposition Parliamentarians in
the Dominica House of Assembly has condemned "the manner of
consultation employed by Mr Richard Posnett, special advisor
to the Foreign Office on Dependent Territories, during his
recent visit to Dominica.
A release from the United Front says that Mr Posnett failed to
meet all the elected representatives of the people, farmers
organizations and other key sectors of the Dominica
community. "Mr Psnett did not gain a thorough view of the
issues involved", the release states, "nor could he appreciate
the nationally recognized fear of Dominica becoming independent
iiuder the present leadership."
Miss Eugenta Charles, Leader of the Opposition in the Dominica
House of Assembly, told NEDSLETTER on Monday (5th) that a joint
letter from all Opposition Pwaliamentarians is to be written
to the British Foreign Office pointing out that Mr Posnett was
undemocratic in his approach to the matter and his methods of
testing public opinion are "of no use from the point of view
of showing how Dominicans feel about independence."
WINBAN HOLDS SEMINAR (
The Windward Islands Banana Association (WINBAN) concluded on
May 27th a six-day seminar for Banana Development Officers and
Extension Supervisors. The seminar, which was opened by
ir D A "Ching" Pe rryman, Mang ing Director of WINBAN, was held
at WINBAN's new Communications Centre in St.Lucia and was
convened to upgrEa e and revise the technical knowledge of
senior extension personnel.
THE GRLNADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 10.6.78
In his address, Mr Perryman said the impetus of the first year of
the Development Plan and good weather had resulted in a
significant increase in banana production. He thought that,
if the trend continues, Windward Island banana production for
1978 may reach a total of 150,000 tone.
Participants in the seminar discussed plans fgr the second Five
Year Development Programme due to be implemented on July 1st.
CARNIVAL RESULTS V
Miss Ann-Marie Mitchell was crowned Grenada's 1978 Carnival
Queen and the Flying Turkey (Cecil Belfon) won the title of
Calypso King in the Carnival celebrations which took place on
29th and 30th RYe. It was Turkey's third annual consecutive
The Band-of-the-Year prize went to "Excerpts from Greek Mythology"
led by Robert Patterson.
Carnival was celebrated in Grenada late this. year because the
traditional dates of 6th and 7th February clashed with the
island'a independence celebrations.
The S S "Geesttide" sailed on June 6th with 47,041 boxes of
bananas weighing 1,486,543 lbs. There were 1,038 boxes of
rejected fruit. Producers were paid ECO 14 by the Grenada
Cooperative Banana Association.
Newsletter regrets that no other statistics are available at this
CRUISE LINExt CALLS. 1
During the week ending June 3rd, two cruise liners called at
Grenada. These were the "Oriana" and "Cunard Countess", both
on May 30th and with 1743 and 728 passengers respectively.
9th June 1978