The Grenada newsletter

Material Information

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


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

Source Institution:
A. & C. Hughes
Holding Location:
A. & C. Hughes
Rights Management:
Copyright A. & C. Hughes. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
24157414 ( OCLC )
sn 91021217 ( LCCN )
F2056.A2 G74 ( lcc )


This item has the following downloads:

Full Text

Alister Hughes,
P 0 Box 65

For The Week Ending June 10th 1978

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

and ECO8.00.

AlLater Hughes
THE GREADA NEMSBLTThR Week Ending 10.6.78
Page 2

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.
Counter proposal
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

years service.

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

Alister Hughes
THE GRANADA Nh.ESLETTER Week Ending 10.6.78
Pange 'I

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.
(703 words)


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

my suspension."

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 .

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

Alister Hughes
Page 95

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."
(567 words)


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.
(211 words)
#i-Jf##### #


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

Alister Hughes
THi GRINADA NEWSLETTER Keek Finding 40.6.78
Page 7
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

Friendship Association.
Libel Action
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

Axister Hughes
THE GRZNADA NEWSLhTTER Week Ending 10.6.78
Page 6

Monday (5th).

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

Communist Threat
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

Alister Hughes
Ti; GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending tO.f.78
Page 8

front" in the House of Assembly.

Dominica's next General Elections are in 1980.
(713 words)


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

Alister Hughesa
THi GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 10.6.78
Page 9
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 Constitution."

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

Alister Hughes
Page 10
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."
(680 words)


'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."
(173 words)


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.


Alister Hughes
Page 11i
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.
(126 words)


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.
(82 words)


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


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.

Alister Hughes
9th June 1978

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