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The Classics

Joint Trade Union Research Centre launched to mark Labour Day

Published:Friday | May 24, 2024 | 7:46 AM
A NEW CHAPTER in trade union history is announced with the establishment of a Joint Trade Union Research Development Centre at a press conference at the Courtleigh Manor Hotel on May 23, 1980. Among the union heads attending were (from left) E. Lloyd Taylor (JALGO); Senator Hopeton Caven (TUC); the Rt Hon Hugh Shearer (BITU); and Holroyd Thompson (NWU).

In celebration of Labour Day, six trade unions announced the establishment of the Joint Trade Union Research Development Centre at 13 Waterloo Road, Kingston. This initiative, supported by Union Holdings Ltd and Joint Trade Union Industries Ltd, aims to develop a data bank and promote cooperative housing for union members.

Published Saturday, May 24, 1980

Trade union research centre set up

- Data bank, housing project planned

THE ESTABLISHMENT of a Joint Trade Union Research Development Centre was announced yesterday, timed to coincide with the celebration of Labour Day. Six trade unions have come together in a venture combining development of a data bank and promotion of co-operative housing for their membership.

To this end, the centre will be housed at premises 13 Waterloo Road, in Kingston, made available by the Government. A management company, Union Holdings Ltd, and an investment company, Joint Trade Union Industries Ltd, have been formed in connection with the promotion of housing projects in the Corporate Area, as well as the rural areas.

This next chapter in joint trade union action was announced yesterday at a press conference at the Courtleigh Manor Hotel, attended by representatives of the BITU, NWU, JALGO, TUC, JUPOPE and UPWU.

BITU President, the Rt Hon Hugh Shearer, explained that the unions had been working together on a number of projects, separate and apart from the traditional areas of negotiation for wages and fringe benefits.

The primary objective of the research centre will be to collect a wide range of statistics related to the national economy. It will collect and keep up to date information on wages, allowances, working conditions, company profits, employment statistics, price movements, labour legislation, and all JLO conventions and recommendations.

The basic function will be one of advice and information to be used by individual unions as they wish. The main objective will not be to solve individual union problems but to aid the unions in their activities through information.

In the other area of joint activity, housing has been selected for priority attention. The management company has already been registered, and the investment company is in the process of being registered.

It is proposed to start with “manageable projects on the basis of allowing first preference to union members at the lowest wage levels".

In the Corporate Area, locations are being sought where infrastructure is already in place and public transportation is readily available.

The unions are to promote schemes on a co-operative basis, and they are seeking to mobilise local and outside funds. In connection with the research centre, overseas assistance is coming from the Norwegian trade union movement, the AFL CIO in the United States, and the British TUC.

Aid will be in the form of grants, training, fixtures for the building, staffing, and scholarships for training. A Norwegian training officer will spend two years with the centre, in the first instance, and the Norwegian trade unionists have invited a local trade union delegation to visit Norway for training.

The centre will have a degree of autonomy but will be accountable to a representative body of the participating unions, which will meet and agree on such matters as the budget and the stages by which the centre should develop.

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