The Grenada newsletter


Material Information

The Grenada newsletter
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 36 cm.
A. & C. Hughes
Place of Publication:
St. George's, Grenada, West Indies
Publication Date:
twenty no. a year
completely irregular


Subjects / Keywords:
Periodicals -- Grenada   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Grenada   ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada   ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada   ( lcsh )
newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1973.
General Note:
Description based on surrogate of: Vol. 11, no. 1 (Jan. 22, 1983); title from caption.

Record Information

Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 24157414
lccn - sn 91021217
lcc - F2056.A2 G74
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text

e~--L- --' --

Volume 7 Number 30
For The Week Ending 22nd September 1979
7th Year of Publication - - 228th Issue


The Coca-Cola bottling plant in Grenada has been taken over by the
People's Revolutionary Government (PRG). The take-over took
place yesterday (21st) and is the latest development in an
industrial dispute between W E Julien & Co Ltd, operators of the
bottling plant, and the Commercial & Industrial Workers Union(CIWUT)

The dispute began on August 16th when two employees were dismissed.
It is alleged that, on the previous day, they refused to obey
instructions and threatened the life of the plant Manager,
Mr Michael Julien.

When the men were dismissed, all but 7 of the 43 employees talked
off the job in protest. At this stage, the workers had no
S union representation, but the Company held talks with CIWU
President Mr Vincent Noel and, within a few days, recognition was

Since the walk-out, negotiations have been going on between the
Company and the Union, but no agreement has been reached. Further,
there have been major misunderstandings.

Mr Noel told e today (22nd) that, within a week of the start of
the strike, CIWU had made proposals for ending it. The Union's
suggestion, he said, was that the two beput on
suspension, the other workers would go back to t tlR ftdnd the

produced & Printed by Alister & Cynthia Hughe
P BOx 65, St.Georges, Grenada, Westindiea i

- -___________- -- -- -- ^ -- ---- * ----- i- -


Page 2 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 22.9.79

matter would be put before an Arbitration Tribunal.

"The Company rejected this proposal", the CIWU President told

NEWSLETTER, "they said they had already taken a decision and they

could not alter the status of the dismissed men to that of being put

on suspension."

Mr Noel said there had been other proposals and counter proposals but

he could not remember the exact sequence. However, he said, the

basic position was that the Company was firm that, while they were

willing to pay the dismissed men's salaries to December 31st, they

were not willing to go to arbitration.

A spokesman for Julien's places a different light on the situation.

The spokesman told NEWSLETTER that, initially, the Company proposed

that the dismissal notices remain in effect and the two men be made

ex gratia payments equivalent to their salaries to the end of this

year. "Mr Noel appeared to think the proposal a good one", the

spokesman said, "and he went back to the Union for confirmation, but

the workers rejected it."

Following this, the spokesman said, the CIWU President proposed that

the matter be taken before the Labour Commissioner. The Company

Rejected this, proposing instead that the dispute be settled by an

Arbitration Tribunal.

Shatever the facts concerning the early discussions, it is not in

dispute that it was agreed, finally, that an Arbitration Tribunal

shouldd probe the matter. On tha composition of this Tribunal,

however, there was no agreement and the situation deteriorated.

In the appointment of Arbitration Tribunals, the practice is that

each side nominate one person and agreement is reached o an

independent Chairman. For the position of Chairman, the Company

put forward six pames while the Union proposed two. Both sides

rejected the names put forward by the other and, in a public

statement, the Company said the Union had nominated the Labour

Commissioner and an ex-President of the Trades Union Council.

Tze Company felt neither of these could give an unbiased decision.



Week Ending 22.9.79 fTHE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 3

On the other hand, the Union objected to the Company's nominations,

particularly those persons with legal backgrounds. Two of the

six persons are ex-Judges of the Supreme Court and another is a

practicing barrister. "Our position is that this is not a legal

matter", Mr Noel told NEWSLETTER. "The right of the employer to

dismiss is not being questioned. What we are talking about is

the circumstances of the dismissal and it is an industrial and

human relations point. The investigation has to have a social

imput. The Tribunal must consider the attitude and relationship,

of the Manager to his employees. The Tribunal has to examine,

not just this single incident, but all the things which would have

led to such an antagonistic relationship."
The CIWU President said that, when no agreement was reached on the

Chairman of the Tribunal, he approached the Minister of Labour,

Mr Selwyn Strachan, on Monday (17-h) and asked him to use his good

offices to help to resolve the dispute.

On the same day, the strikers began to picket the various

departments of Julien & Co and, at the bottling plant, they

prevented a crane from entering the premises. They also stopped

a maintenance man from working. It is alleged that they stopped

the night watchman from going to do his job but this is denied by

Mr Noel.

In any event, the Company employed two guards from a security

service to patrol the bottling plant premises that night and,

sometime before morning, they reported to the Manager that the

buildings were being stoned. The Manager called the Criminal

Investigation Department (CID) to ask for police protection, and

he reports that he was referred to the Minister of Home Affairs,

Mr Vincent Noel.

Referring to this in a published statement, the Company said,

"Naturally, no attempt was made to contact Mr Noel since this

gentleman, in addition to being Minister of Home Affairs, under

whose portfolio the Police come, is also President of the Union

which represents the employees at the factory."





Page 4 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 22.9.79

The next morning, Tuesday (18th), when the security guards were leaving

the premises, they were beaten by a group of men. A spokesman for

the security service told NEWSLETTER one was bady hurt and had to have

X-rays taken of his head. "Not only were they cuffed", he said,

"but they were stoned and both received serious cuts about the face and

head. With one of them, it was thought his skull may have been

fractured and X-rays were taken, but, fortunately, this was not found

to be so."

Up to this point, although there was no production, the bottling plant

had remained open every day with the few workers who were not on

strike, but, after the incident with the security guards, the

Company decided to close. On the next day, Wednesday (19th),

Minister.of Labour Strachan entered the scene.
In a letter to Julien's, Mr Strachan referred to the dispute which,

he said, culminated in strike action "and the lockout by your Company

whic. started yesterday 18th instant". The letter said

Government appreciates the rights of parties to resolve their

disagreements themselves but the People's Revolutionary Government

has a commitment to citizens to guarantee them adequate supplies

and services.

I"The public of Grenada", the Minister said, "has suffered a great deal

for some time because of what appears to be the autocratic and

arbitrary action of Management."

"Government acting in the interest of the public, therefore'", the

letter continued, "requests that you rehire by 8.00 am on Friday

21st September, all the workers involved with payment of full wages

from the commencing date of dispute, pending the report of a

Committee to be' agreed by all relevant parties."

Mr Strachan concluded by saying that, if there was "failure to adhere

'' to the above request", Government would be forced to take the

"necessary step" to ensure that production returns to normal.

The Company replied to the Minister on Thursday (20th) refuting

4. charge of being autocratic and arbitrary and expressing

'i -- -------

Week Bndi f 22.9.79 THE GRBNAA NEWSLETTER Page 5

amazement and astonishment at the contents of Mr Strachan's letter.

No reference was made to the Minister's request for reemployment of

the workers, but the Company asked Mr Strachan to use his good

offices to find a Chairman (for the Arbitration Tribunal) who would

be acceptable to both sides.

Mr Strachan replied on Frdday (21st). "I have to inform you", he

said, "that the request communicated by my letter dated 18th inst

should not be interpreted as a matter for negotiation and/or

compromise. It is a firm stand of the People's Revolutionary

Government for effecting an immediate settlement of a dispute which

has lasted for too long a period of 37 days."

The Minister said the overriding consideration of the PRG is to

ensure immediate resumption at the Coke plant, "thus ensuring no

further hardship to the suffering public and no further harm to the

economy." Mr Strachan gave the assurance that, once production

returns to normal, a Tribunal will be set up "after consultation

with the relevant parties."

Julien & Co did not rehire the workers as requested by the Minister

but, on Friday morning (21st), an official of the Ministry of

Labour held discussions with the Board of Management of the

Company. A Company spokesman told NEWSLETTER it was agreed that

/1 all workers, except the two dismissed, would be reemployed and the

plant would be reopened on Monday (24th). It was agreed also

there would be no strike pay. The two dismissed workers would

not be allowed back at the plant but they would be kept on full pay

until a Tribunal had reported.
The Ministry official was to return later in the morning to ratify

the agreement but, instead, two policemen approached Mr Sandy

Taylor, Managing Director of the Company. They had an

authorisation from the Minister of Labour to the Commissioner of

Police to collect the keys of the bottling plant, and Mr Taylor

delivered these keys to them. The plant was opened immediately

and Mr Noel told NEWSLETTER today (22nd) that production will begin

on Monday (24th)



7 ----- -- ---- - ---

Page GRENADA ItWSLETTE Week Endi 22.9.79

In the meantime, a press release from the Grenada Employers

Federation, issued today (22nd), disclosed there was a meeting of

the Federation and the Chamber of Commerce with the Minister of

Labour on Thursday (20th). The release said Mr Strachan's letter

of 19th was discussed and concern was expressed "over the departure

from normal industrial relations practice".

According to the release, Mr Strachan was asked to withdraw his

uAtimatum to the Company, and the Federation and Chamber urged the

"setting up of an Arbitration Tribunal as requested by the Company

and agreed by the Union". Also, the Minister was asked whether

it is Government's intention "to alter the rules and laws governing

dispute procedure and, if so, that the two organizations be advised."

"The Federation views with dismay the action taken by Government in

taking over the Coca-Cola bottling plant without due recourse to

resolving the matter by the findings of an arbitration tribunal

which is a complete departure from normal industrial practice", the

release said.

Mr Noel told NEWSLETTER that the bottling plant (which has been in

operation since November 1960) will probably be in the hands of

; senior members of the staff when it reopens on Monday.

"Government will have to appoint a Manager", he said, "and the Union

will probably be consulted".

Sources close to the Company say there is enough CCae-Co~a concentrate

in the island to keep the plant in production until early 1980,

and NEWSLETTER asked Mr Noel what plans he has if the matter is not

settled and the plant back in the hands of Julien & Co before the

stock of concentrate is exhausted.

"In any event", he said, "concentrate will be found. Come hell

or high water, they will find concentrate of one kind or another."
(1868 words)


q4 case against the Editor of the Grenada weekly newspaper,

"The Westindian Crusader", came up in the Magistrate's court on

Week Ending 22.9.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 7

2' j Monday (17th) and has created some confusion and uncertainty.

The Editor, Mr Eslee Carberry, is charged with assault and, two

weeks ago, his passport was confiscated by the authorities. "The

Westindian Crusader" is printed in Barbados and it was while he

was on his way to that island with prepared copy for printing that

Mr Carberry's passport was taken away by security personnel at

Pearls airport.

A source close to the Government Information Services told

NEWSLETTER today (17th) that the passport was taken because it was

thought Mr Carberry planned to leave Grenada in order to escape the

charge. In Court this morning, however, the Police said they

knew nothing of the confiscation of the passport. And,

Magistrate Lyle St.Paul expressed surprise that a passport would be

confiscated relative to the simple charge of assault.
Other Matters
NEWSLETTER spoke to the Commissioner of Police, Mr James Clarkson,

with a view to having some light thrown on the matter. Mr Clarkson

said the confiscation of the passport had nothing to do with the

charge of assault against Mr Carberry. The passport is being

held by the Police, he said, because of "other matters" concerning

Mr Caroerry, which matters are being investigated by the Ministry

of National Security.

This is the second occasion on which the Editor of "The Westindian

Crusader" has had a confrontation with the authorities. The

first occasion occurred some two weeks before his passport was taken

and it involved prepared copy he was taking out of the island for


On this occasion, the copy was confiscated at the airport and no

reason was given to him. A source in the Government Information

Services told NEWSLETTER, however, that the copy had been seized

because it contained a publication "very damaging" to the case of

James Wardally and Chester Humphrey, two Grenadians now facing arms

smuggling charges in the United States.

According to Mr Carberry, that publication is a letter to the

Editor. It criticizes the People's Revolutionary Government

page 8 THE GREMADA NBS.LETTE Week Ending 22.9.79

(PRG) for trying to get the United Stateqtto drop the charges against

the two men. The writer of the letter considers that the PRG is

interfering in the internal affairs of the US, and the opinion is

expressed that those "who choose to spy or otherwise violate the

laws of another country for the benefit of their own must be prepared

to suffer the martyrdom of the sanctions imposed by that other country".

The case of assault against Mr Carberry was not heard today as the

Police were not ready to proceed. One of their principal

witnesses is out of the State. Magistrate St.Paul granted an

adjournment until Monday October 1st.

(481 words)


The Tribunal appointed by the People's Revolutionary Government to

review the cases of political prisoners continued its sittings this


NEWSLETTER for the week ending September 8th gave details of sittings

which had taken place that week and of sittings scheduled until

September llth. During the week ending September 15th, there were

three more sittings as follows :-

Wednesday 12th September
Norman DeSousa
Godwin Benjamin
Charles C Whyte

Thursday 13th September
Chrysler Thomas
Rupert St.Bernard
Dennis Rush
N. George Rullow

Friday 14th September
Fitz-Albert Abraham
I Lloyd St.Louis
Raymond DeSousa
Herbert Bassanta Fletcher

This week, there nave been five sittings as follows :-
Monday 17th September
Oscar Telesford
Cletus Paul
Michael J Frank
Ann Alexander

t (continued)


Week Ending 22.9.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 9

Tuesday 18th September
Kingston Baptiste
Albert Abraham
Clifford Redhead
Augustine Frederick

Wednesday 19th September
Johnny Madrid
Osbert James
Albert 0 Forsythe
Everest Felix

Thursday 20th September
Norton Noel
Terrance McSween
Roraney David Coomansingh
Ashley Church

Friday 21st September
Phillip John
Carlton Alexis
Claudius Charles
John Harry

The following sittings are scheduled for next week

Monday 24th September
Graves Whyte
Herbert J Preudhomme
Donnelly Patrick
Abraham Joseph

Tuesday 25th September
Daphney Baptists
Winston Massanto
Antonia Longdon
Lester DeSousa

Wednesday 26th September
Thomas Mitchell
Clayton Neckles
Errol McBain
Terrance Jones

When this sitting of the Tribunal will have been completed, sixty-

eight persons will have had their cases reviewed. In addition,
there are nine persons who were originally political prisoners but

who have since had criminal charges laid against them. Bigtrt of

these are alleged to have been members of deposed Prime Minister

Gairy's "mongoose gang", and the other was the Superintendent of

Prisons before the revolution..

The ex-Superintendent of Prisons is Francis Jones and he is charged

with fraud. The alleged members of the "mongoose gang" are

Willie Bishop, Moslyn Bishop, Dudley Passee, Albert Clarke, Alston

Hood, Phillip BrIzan, Lloyd Frederick, Gordon Noel and Raphae2

Brizan. These men have been charged with attempted murder. (tbit'd

Page 10 THE GRENADA NBWSIATTER Week Ending 2 .9 79

Adding these names to the 68 who have had their cases reviewed, the

total is 78. This is two more than the total when cases were

reviewed earlier this year (see NEWSLETTER for wj.esg ending 11.8.79)

and the two new names are Graves Whyte and Antonio Longdon. Nothing

is known of the latter, but Graves Whyte is the brother of Mr Winston

Whyte, member of the former House of Representatives. Mr Winston

Whyte is a member of the United People's Party and, at one time, was

I political Leader of that Party. Graves Whyte was taken into

custody on August 23rd.

(420 words)


The last statistics for cruise liner calls was given in NEWSLETTER

for the week ending August 11th and covered calls up to the week

ending July 21st.

The following figures are now available;-

July 23rd "Fair Wind"
24th "Cunard Countess"
25th "Carla C"

July 31st "Cunard Countess"
Aug 1st "Carla C"
3rd "Fair Wind"

Aug 7th "Cunard Countess"
8th "Carla C"

Aug 13th "Fair Wind"
14th "Cunard Countess"
15th "Carla C"

Aug 21st


"Cunard Countess"

1063 Passengers
823 do.
769 do
12655 Passengers W/Ending

S825 Passengers
806 do
1129 do tio"
2760 Passengers W/Ending

821 Passengers
825 do
%/1646 Passengers W/Ending

1111 Passengers
841 do
778 do
V2730 Passengers W/Ending

/ 801 Passengers W/Ending




25. 8.

is advised by the Tourist Bureau that, during the

weeks ending September 1st and 8th, there were no cruise liner

calls at Grenada.

Week Ending 22.9.79 THE c~EA NP~ BWJ$ TTER Page 11


Total Pounds
Shipped to ....
1977 1978
31,956,783 31,329,521
29,564,608 29,805,398
26,133,837 27,881,052
23,926,239 25,603,992
21,902,725 23,814,791
19,028,328 21,273,037
16,434,752 18,748,730
13,633,491 15,369,158
10,292,476 12,532,604
8,156,305 9,576,104
5,720,989 6,169,839
2,564,180 3,711,002


- 1.96%
+ .81%
+ 6.68%
+ 7.01%
+ 8.72%
+ 7.20%

- 7.87!
- 9.06


S epte1mber
i August -
% ..

% :M
% April
% J anrch
'% ,Foruary
% _, January,

.. ...:: '. : :. '
i:!, ..-

Total Dollars (EC)
Earned to ....
1977 197i
8,503,421 9,408
7,891,650 8,967
6,874,142 8,382
6,219,691 7,640
5,590,339 7,036
4,772,874 6,180
3,983,182 5,349
3,171,067 4,257
2,233,740 3,395
1,680,370 2,53C
1,125,411 1,773
507,027 961




6,301,442:+ 1.96%
5,105,946 4.56%
4,148,878 2.55%
3,163,850 6.83%
2,246,667 -11.22%
1,627,932 8.20%
922,307 4.12%

SDe embern-

--I J, b1 -
1 Jbue".F1

. .

S Pbruary I




Page 12 THE GRERAA ,NBMSLETTE Week Ending 22.9.79


The last statistics given for banana shipments waxe in NEWSLETTER

for the week ending September 8th and covered shipments up to the

"Geesttide" of July 24th.

On 31st July, the S S "Geestcrest" loaded 18,143 boxes of bananas

weighing 562,728 Ibs. There were 258 bdxes of rejected fruit.

The Grenada Banana Cooperative Society (GBCS) paid producers EC 18

on the boxing plant weight of 579,366 Ibs. Geest Industries

paid GBCS ECO 39.120 per pound on the shipped weight.

(84 words)

A is ughes
2 september 1979



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