Labour ministry continues to help non-unionised workers
The Jamaica Observer, 7 July 2000
THE Pay and Conditions of Employment Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security last year processed 1,131 complaints, conducted 291 investigations and carried out 216 inspections on behalf of non-unionised workers.
Reporting on the department's performance during the 2000/01 sectoral debate in Parliament, labour and social security minister, Donald Buchanan, said the activity had resulted in a proprietor voluntarily paying out $8.6 million to 288 workers.
"The Pay and Conditions of Employment branch has been entrusted with the job of visiting industrial undertakings and commercial entities throughout the country ... to inspect wage records, investigate complaints and deal with matters relating to conditions of employment of non-unionised workers," the minister explained.
Buchanan said the Labour Officer's Power Act gave the department's officers the authority to enter premises where workers were employed, at any time of day or night, to inspect records and see whether they were in line with the national minimum wage law.
In addition, the minister said, inspections were carried out at bakeries, catering operations, dry goods stores, laundry and dry cleaning establishments, hotels, security guards, printing companies and gas stations.
"It is the business of this branch to see that there is compliance on the part of the employers and the general observance of the public of provisions of the labour laws," he noted.
Buchanan also reported that the branch had trained officers in St Ann, St James, Portland, St Mary, Manchester, Hanover, Westmoreland and Trelawny.
He said the department was moving to ensure the quicker processing of information, to serve the public more efficiently.