Attention is invited to a typographical error appear-
ing paragraph 17 of the BHport of the Arbitration
I'ribanal published in an Extraordinary Gazette dated
9ih April, id66, wnlch should be amnueaid as follows:-
For the words and figures "Paragraphs 3 and 4
supra" substitute "Paragraphs 4 and 5
(L [R INDNA .
nblishs d bag Anthuritg.
VOL. 71.] SAINT GEORGE'S, THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 1953. [No. 17.
In the matter of an Arbitration under the provisions of the trades disputes
(Arbitration and Inquiry) Ordinance.P1943.
To His Excellency
The Acting Governor of the Windward' Islands,
You appointed three members of an Arbitration
Tribunal constituted under the provisions of Ssc-
tion 3 (2) (c) of the Trade Disputes (Arbitration
and Inquiry) Ordinance, 1943, (No. 5 of 1943) tio
enquire into the following matters:-
1. The matter of a trade dispute existing between
the Grenada Manual and Mental Workers'
Union and the Grenada Agriculturists'
2. The matter of a trade dispute existing between
the Grenada Manual and Mental Workers'
Union and the Grenada Sugar Factory
The constitution of the Tribunal was as follows:--
Professor John Sydney Dash, O.B.E.,
Aubrey James, Esq.,
(Nominated by the Grenada Manual
and Mental Workers' Union)
Howell Donald Shillingford, Esq., O.B.E.,
(Nominated by the Grenada Sugar
Factory Limited and the Grenada
2. A report was prepared on the assumption that
my Co-arbitrators were going to sign. Ithen dis-
covered there was disagreement and, therefore
under Section 3 (2j (c) of the above Or finance
(No. 5 of 1943) I now become the sole arbitrator.
In the circumstances, I have the honour to report
3. The precise terms of reference are set out, in
a series of numbered proposals. The series will be
dealt with in the order presented.
1. (a) Proposals addressed by the Grenada Man-
ual and Mental Workers' Union to the
Grenada Agriculturists' Union, as follows:
(1) ia) Wages. (i) That the daily wage of
agricultural workers be increased to
$2-00 and $1.56 for men and women
(ii) That Watchmen be paid a minimum of
$2.40 per day in view of the position
of responsibility and trust which they
hold and the long ani arduous hours of
(iii) Thau Stockmen, Grass-cutters, Gropms
and other persons attending the live-
stock be paid nct less than $2.60 per
(iv) That in the cases of (ii) and (iii) above,
the wages, whether payable daily
fortnightly, or monthly, be not less
than those stipulated in ii- and (iii)
above when the total amount paid ;to
F',b I!~I- ---
r' C I
6 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, APRIL 9, 1953.--(No. 17).
the workman is divided by the actual
number of days worked.
(b) Bonus. That a reasonable percentage of
the profits of estates be set aside for
the payment of a bonus to the workers.
(c) Retrospectiv, Pay. That the wage in-
creases requested at (a) above take
effect as from 3rd April, 1952, the date
of expiry of the Agreement between
the Grenada Manual and Mental
Workers' Union and the Grenada
(d) Overtime. That double the basic daily
wage be paid for work done on Sundays
and other Public Holidays; and that
payment at the rate of time-and-a-half
be made for work performed in excess
of eight hours.
4. In order to clarify the general principle by
which I was guided in coming to my decision, it is
necessary to state at the outset that in the case of
agricultural industry it is not feasible or proper to
use any cost of living figure, however accurate, in
determining a fair wage. There are too many
hazards associated with production and marketing
in using such a figure as an absolute measure of
the award. The whole economic structure.of the
industry and the circumstances under which it is
operated must be taken in consideration. The
cost of'living is indeed relevant and must be kept
in mind, having regard to the facilities provided or
capable of being provided by the industry for the
supplementation of the daily earnings by way of
home grown food products and what is commonly
referred to as perquisites." Primarily, any wage
figure must be one that the industry can bear
without stifling enterprise on the one hand or, in
the long run, creating unemployment and hardship
among the workers.
5. Manufacturing industries differ materially
from the average run of agricultural industries in
that changing conditions are generally known or
can be judged some time in advance, When cost
of living moves up, ways and means of cheapening
production can be initiated promptly, and, in
addition, an increased pay packet may be often
secured by an advance in the price of the particular-
article made or exploited. Changes in agri-
cultural methods on the other hand cannot be
altered in weeks or even months and sometimes
years, The life cycles of plants and animals can-
not be hurried except by long years of patient
investigation and the development of new breeds
and sorts. In actual practice, therefore, it is
easier and more practicable to base standard wages
in industrial and manufacturing pursuits on a cost
of living figure. I am supported in that view by
the 1948 Committee which reported on the same
questions we are now considering. Paragraph 32
of that report was clear on the point and was
signed by several representatives of labour.
6. The position in Grenada seems to be that,
traditionally, the agricultural industry has always
given its workers a fairly wide measure of assis-
tance in providing sustenance from the land. It is
conceded that wages at present earned plus such
assistance may not be now sufficient to meet the
spectre of rising costs. But it is the case that the
Whole population of the island in common with
that of its neighbours' is affected by this problem.
It is equally the case that those who have access
to land can go a long way towards meeting in-
creased costs by showing a greater interest in local
food production and so offsetting in great measure
the increasing costs of imports. Fortunately, in
Grenada, there need be no land hunger and herein
lies the secret of a much more contented peasantry.
7. I have Piven careful consideration to the
memoranda supplied and to the oral evidence
obtained in public sessions, supplemented by facts
and figures frcm certain Government Officers. I
[ave also had the opportunity to see for myself
something of the conditions in the field. I have
formed the opinion that, in general, the agricultural
economy of Grenada is a sliding one and unless
vigorous steps are taken to rehabilitate it, the
financial structure of the island will be seriously
threatened. Indeed, already the danger signals are
clearly visible. There is not the slightest doubt
that the inefficiency which prevails in all phases of
the local industry is the greatest handicap to future
prosperity and to the achievement of that stability
which is essential if harmonious relations are to be
fostered and developed between the disputants.
8. The Leader of Labour was very right in
focusing attention on inefficiency and the need for
greater productivity from the land. acd he was
careful not to exclude the inefficiency of labour,
since it was this argument that be specifically used
in his demand for free access by his officers in order
to educate and to urge workers to a better per-
formance of their work. The Leader of the Agri-
culturists' Union admitted that his Union was
aware of backwardness in many phases of agricul-
tural enterprise, but contended that the relatively
high cost of labour and the general uncertainty
which prevailed as a result of the frequent demands
of the Labour Union made it extremely difficult to
consider increasing capital outlay in developmental
9. Agriculture in Grenada is of a diversified
character. Most estates carry a mixture of orchard'
cr.ps, although one particular crop may predomi-
nate. It has been found in practice that any wage
fixed sooner or later has to be adopted by all
employers of whatever category -whether in field
or orchard crop enterprises. Moreover, as small
proprietors and cultivators, who also employ labour,
figure very largely in the agricultural set-up, these,
too, are obliged to pay any fixed wage. And this,
in spite of the fact that their products owing to
lack of uniformity and other factors affecting
quality in processing, are penalized by lower prices
than those ruling for estates' produce. True, in
some cases, the occupier and his family may parti-
cipate in actual labour operations but, in general,
it would appear that rises in labour costs outside
of the ability of industry to pay, and having regard
also to the lack of capital resources must result in
considerable hardship on the small agriculturists'
class in the struggle to achieve an independent
10. Most of the discussion has tended to centre
on the cocoa industry as being the most important
crop in the Colony. Figures of production indicate
an island aver ge of two bags per acre at the
present time. Obviously, many cultivations are
producing less, others more. But, in general, as
the Director of Agriculture stated in open session,
most cocoa is not economic. Now, the evidence
submitted by both sides of the wage dispute indi.
GO VERNMENT GAZETTE,
APRIL 9, 1953.-(No. 17.)
cated that certain cocoa estates were operating at
a profit and might indeed be in a position to pay
more for labour. Certain of them again, though
not all. had met the situation by granting a bonus
to their workers and I consider this practice as a
just and fair approach to the problem. No differ-
entitation of wage scale is practicable.
11. The 1918 Committee report referred to above
accepted as the average cost of producing one bag
(200 Ib.) of cocoa as $40-00, when the existing
daily wage was 72 cents for a man and 60 cents
for a woman. (Paragraph 39 of the Report).
Today at $1-20 and $10(0 respectively, costs of
production are much greater while the yields are
declining. The same report emphasized the need
for due allowance to be made for extra labour on
rehabilitation work which was sadly needed to put
new life in the industry. The need for rehabilita-
ticn grows greater with the passing of time. But,
in spite of the decline in prices which is making
itself felt, notably as the result of uneconomic
yields in most cases, prices are still in advance of
formerly accruing to the industry. Given stability
in labour relations, the future can be viewed in au
,optimistic light. It is of the utmost importance,
therefore, that producers address themselves
vigorously to rehabilitation and to co-operating
fully in the operation of the scheme which has
been set up for the purpose.
12. During the course of the deliberations the
question of a banana industry was raised as the
result of a notice appearing in the local press and
the attractive prices offered. The reasons for
failures in the past were noted and it is not
necessary to reiterate them here. They were
beyond the control of producers. But, the fact
that a banana variety resistant to Panama disease
has been found and buying and shipping facilities
hre once more available augurs well for any effort
to try once again to develop this industry. I am
advised that Dominica is now developing this
industry, and if close co-operation could be arranged
between the producers of that island and those of
Grenada. it should be possible to fill up the avail-
able shipping space at regular intervals. Further,
if the Lacatan variety now in the experimental
stages in Grenada, can be used successfully for
ground shade in the rehabilitation of old cocoa
."'fields-with the clonal material rapidly becoming
available-a great stride forward will be made in
increasing the revenue from cocoa cultivations. I
accordingly urge all concerned to lose no time in
exploring this important avenue of opportunity.
13. The economic position of the nutmeg
industry is undoubtedly precarious. After enjoying
a period of almost complete monopoly, it is now
faced with severe competition from the East where
the whole fabric of the industry was practically
ruined as a result of war and post war conditions.
Production is gaining strength and, as a result, the
local market is depressed. The outlook is most un-
certain Fortunately, there is a local co-operative
organisation charged with the general oversight ot
the industry; and although there may be diff-
erences of opinion within th, industry, the
organisation provides a stabilizing uvorall influence
arid a guide which cannot be overestimated. There
are numerous peasant holdings in the indu try
.and, taking it by and large, the material fall in
the gross value of nutmegs is a serious matter
and does not lend itself to any possible compensa-
tion by th3 more favourable outlook which the
future may hold for, say, cocoa. The evidence
confirms unmistakably the contention that the
nutmeg industry cannot support an increase in
labour costs at the present time and. moreover, it
is exceedingly doubtful whether gross income is
sufficient to provide a reasonable margin of nett
income. It is in such circumstances that capital
and labour must find how best to live without
jeopardizing the future of the industry and the
livelihood of those engaged in it.
14. The remaining industries, with the exception
of sugar which is dealt with ,Iter, do not form
any very significant part of the main structure
and therefore do not call for special comment.
15. The history of previous wage awards is well
kno n and need not be set out here. The present
position is that by Agreement dated 9th April,
1951, the wages of able-bodied Workers were fixed
at $1'20 for men and $1-00 for women for an
eight hour day and for the regular task performed.
It was admitted that such tasks outside of those,
the nature of which called for continuous attend-
ance during the day; could be performed by capable
workers in about four hours; and this did not pre-
clude additional tasks or part thereof from being
performed where agreed to by both sides. Thus,
it was possible for capable workers to earn more
than the basic wage where conditions permitted.
To even things up, those engaged on work
necessitating full eight hour attendance might,
conceivably, be employed more days per week,
depending on seasonal operations.
16. The general practice is to sell, well below
market rates, the produce of food crops grown on
the estates and to supplement this further by the
allotment of gardens, either rent-free or at aL
nominal figure. These concessions amount to a,
substantial addition to the wages earned and can-
not be ignored. I am satisfied that all things
considered, the total expenditure on labour forms
an unusually high proportion of total costs of
production and necessitates high revenue receipts--
either as a result of increased prices or increased
yields or both, if labour's share is to be maintained.
Increased prices for export produce are not likely
in the foreseeable future and reliance must there-
fore be placed, in increasing measure, on more
economic yields in the field. This is what the
cocoa rehabilitation scheme is designed to do in
17. Having regard to all the circumstances
described above, great caution must be exercised in
granting wage increases which the present state
of the industries cannot justify. Paragraphs 3
and 4 supra set out the principle which must be
accepted in determining the issue In keeping
with this principle I cannot in all fairness, recom-
mend any increase in the present basic wage rate
of $1-20 and $1-00 for men and women respec-
(1) (a) Wages. With regard to Watchmen, (1)
(a) (ii) I do not recommend any increase on basic
daily wage, but as they are required to be on the
job every day, they be paid on that basis either by
the week, fortnight or month, with no overtime al-
lowance. The same wauld apply to head stcckmen
and responsible grooms required to ,e out every
day. Grass-cutters should be treated as ordinary
labourers and paid the basic wage for the days
they work. (1) (a) (iii) and (iv).
98 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, APRIL 9. 1953.--(No. 17).
(1) (b) Bonus. I agree with the principle of
bonus awards, but these must be voluntarily
applied in the discretion of the employers as is now
the case. I cannot too strongly ifrge on producers
the necessity for adopting the principle and apply-
ing it as much in their own interests as well as
those of the employees.
(1) (c) Betrospective Pay. The question does
not now arise in view of the recommendation that
the basic wage should not be altered.
(1) (d) Overtime. I recommend that normally
this be paid at the rate of time-and-a-half on Sun-
days and Public Holidays, with the exception that
any time over and beyond the eight hour day be
paid at double rates.
1.-(2) That wet cocoa be carried to the nearest
spot accessible to animals.
1-(3) That the expression an eight hour day"
be interpreted as one of seven hours actual
work and one hour for the luncheon interval.
I do not recommend any change in the existing
1.-(4) That persons employed on any estate
for three years and over who happen to fall
sick on the job, be entitled to twenty-five
per cent of the daily wage, for a period of
I agree, providing that safeguards be introduced
against malingering and might be met, when in
doubt, by a Medical Certificate.
1.-(5) That no person who has given service on
any estate for a period of ten years be con-
sidered as non-able-bodied".
I recommend that Clause 2 of the 9th April,
1951, Agreement be adherred to, as follows :-
"The Wages payable to NON-able-bodied
Workers shall be at such rate as may be
agreed upon between the Employer and
Worker concerned. In the event of the
failure of the parties to arrive at an agreement,
the matter shall be referred to the Labour
Officer who shall in the first instance decide
whether or not the worker is able-bodied. If
not able-bodied, the question of the wages
which are to be paid shall be decided by a
representative of the Union and a representa-
tive of the Employer concerned meeting with
the Labour Officer as Chairman."
1.-(6) That one hundred and fifty days be the
qualifying period of persons entitled to
seven days holiday with pay; and that
workers who have served for a period of ten
years and over be entitled to fourteen days
holiday with pay.
I recommend, in view o the variation in the
number of days worked, that the following formula
5 days pay for 150 days work per annum;
6 days pay for 175 days work per annum; and
7 days pay for 200 days work per annum.
I make no award in regard to 14 days holiday
with pay. Any further concession of this nature
must be left to the discretion of the employer.
1.--(7) That all estates carry first aid equipment.
1.--(8) That special concessions be granted to
workers on estates in regard to the sale of
articles produced on estates.
1.-(9) That the officers of the Grenada Manual
and Mental Workers' Union be given access
at all times to any estate on which there
are workers who are members of that Union.
I do not recommend that this concession be
made obligatory. The Labour Leader stated that
he has amicable relations with eighty per cent of
the employers on this and pertinent matters, and
I consider this a good record in all the circum-
stances. However, if necessary, there might be
safeguards to prevent the access being abused and.
where difficulties arise, I suggest that an officer of
the Labour Department should be present at the
time of the visit. Visits should not take place
during working hours.
1.-(10) That the Management of each estate
collect the monthly contribution payable by
their workers to the Grenada Manual and
Mental Workers' Union.
I do not recommend this as a subject for award.
It is a matter for voluntary arrangement.
1.--11) That employers pay the daily wage of
Group Leaders who are required to attend
the quarterly meeting of the Grenada
Manual and Mental Workers' Union at St.
George's with effect from January, 1953.
I do not recommend this. There seems to be
ample time outside a normal working day to attend
1.-(12) That a Reference Board be formed com-
prising nine members of the Grenada
Agriculturists' Union and nine members of
the Grenada Manual and Mental Workers'
Union, with the Labour Officer as Chair-
man and with two other persons to form
with the Labour Officer an independent
panel, so as to promote and maintain an
amicable relationship between employers
I warmly commend this proposal. The only
question which arises is whether such a large
Board is not likely to prove unwieldy.
1.-(13) That no estate employer may hire any
person as a daily worker unless he is a
member of the Grenada Manual and Mental
This is virtually a closed-shop proposal which
can be an extremely dangerous procedure in- agri-
cultural industries. I do not recommend it.
1.-(14) That estates guarantee not less than
five days work weekly.
The Labour Leader did not press for this after it
was pointed out that any guarantee of this kind
could work disadvantageously to the employee and
could, in fact, result in unemployment.
1.--(14)(b) A proposal addressed by the Gre-
nada Agriculturists' Union to the Grenada
Manual and Mental Workers' Union, as
That the livestock industry be guaranteed
protection by the Grenada Manual and Mental
Workers' Union in the event of a strike being
called in other branches of agriculture;
and to make an award in respect of the several
matters dealt with therein.
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, APRIL 9, 1953.-(No. 17.)
I deprecate any suggestion to penalize and in-
deed to adopt any measure which would result in
cruelty to dumb animals which are quite innocent
in any labour dispute with employers. There is
also the question of milk supplies to hospitals and
sick persons to be considered. It is essential that
all act like rational human beings in such matters.
2. To stipulate:
I find myself unable to advise on such a con-
troversial question. The Law Officers should be in
a better position to make acceptable recommen-
The Grenada Manual and Mental Workers'
The Grenada Sugar Factory, Limited.
(a) the period during which the award shall 1 (a),
be binding; (b),
In view of the need for a period of tranquility
and stability in the agricultural industry, and since
the export market for produce is not likely to
undergo any marked improvement-so far as can
be foreseen in the next two years, I recommend
that present labour rates should remain in force
for that period.
(b) whether or not, at the expiration of the
period set out at (a) above, the terms
of the award shall have no effect or
shall continue to be operative until
amended by mutual consent or termin-
ated by one or both of the parties;
I recommend that the period of the award above
shall continue to be operative unless amended by
mutual consent or terminated by at least three
months notice on either side,
(c) in the event of a continuance of the terms
of the award after the expiration of the
period set out at (a) above, the pro-
cedure to be adopted when it is desired
to amend or terminate the award;
I recommend that before any action is taken to
amend or terminate the Agreement as in (b) all
divergent views should be submitted to the pro-
posed Reference Board, the creation of which I
have strongly advocated.
(d) the procedure to be followed in case of a
dispute relating to the interpretation of
the terms of the award;
Procedure as in (c).
(e) the procedure to be followed in case cf a
dispute affecting an individual employer
or employee, other than a general
revision of the Agreement, ,or other
than a question of interpretation as
provided for in sub-paragraph (d) above;
Procedure as in (c).
(f) in what circumstances, if any, any
member 'or members of the Grenada
Agriculturists' Unionor of the Grenada
Manual and Mental Workers' Union,
or any person or persons acting on
behalf of those bodies, shall have
authority to order a look-out or stop-
page of work before the procedure laid
down in sub-paragraphs (d) and (e)
above shall have been exhausted.
See recommendations on the same proposals in
irst part of this Report. Paragraph 17 and
Sections 1 (ii) and (6).
1.-(d) That tenants who plant canes on the
Company's lands pay a rent instead of
one-third of crop;
I recommend that a rental basis be substituted
for the present arrangement of one-third of the
crop. I also recommend that in any allocation of
land, provision should be made to ensure that a
portion be used for food crop production, the
Department of Agriculture to advise in regard to
the choice of crops to be grown.
See recommendation on the same proposal in
the first of this Report. Section 1 (4).
1. (f) that fifty per cent be the increase on the
present wage per ton paid to cutters, headers,
loaders and all factory workers;
I recommend that no increase in the present
wage per ton be paid to cutters, headers, loaders
nor factory workers. It should be noted that
factory workers already earn an increase by virtue
of improved efficiency in the factory, resulting in
greater weekly output.
See recommendation on the same proposal in
the first part of this Report. Section 1 (1) (a)
1. (h '.
See recommendation on the same proposal in
the first part of this Report. Section 1 (3).
2. I recommend that the stipulations in regard
to all the terms of reference under this head should
be the same for similar terms of reference in the
first part of this Report. Section 2.
18. I endorse fully the recommendations of the
I have the honour to be,
Your Excellency's obedient servant,
J. SYDNEY DASH.
2nd April, 1953.
PRINTED BY THE GOVEB1MENT PRINTER AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE,