On his return to work from leave on January 11, 1988, 4r. Henry Smith, Personnel Manager of Barcastle r.td. in Barbados, knew that he would be forced to make an urgent decision. He had visited the company for a short while on Friday, January 8, 1988, when the General Manager (Ag), Mr. St.Clair Brewster, informed him that he had suspended Mr. Timothy James, a production worker and shop steward, for the remainder of that day for refusing to comply with a managerial request. After officially discussing the incident with Mr. Brewster and other members of the Management team at Barcastle Ltd., Mr. Smith invited Timothy to explain the circumstances surrounding his suspension. Not ...view middle of the document...
Case Material is ‘orepared as a basis for classroom discussion. Copyright (c) 1988, The University of the West Indies Regional Management Development Pilot Project. 92 and the
employed one hundred and ten (110) per In 1987, Barcastle Ltd. sons, twenty-five (25) of whom constituted the clerical, ad Eighty-f i’re (85) workers ministrative and professional staff. were employed in the three (3) sections of its production depart Relations with the workers and their union had been ment. The company concluded its first collective generally cordial. agreement with the Union in 1970. The Conversion Department The conversion department received and processed the raw material Because of the nature of the company’s for the final product. product, a high premium was placed on the maintenance of hygenic conditions in this and other departments. Twenty-two (22) employees worked on a three-shift-system in the The standard shifts were 7.00 a.m.-3.00 conversion department. There was a p.m.; 3.00 p.m.—10.00 pm. and 10.00 p.m.—7.00 a..m. shift assistant assisted by shift-supervisors, superintendent, supervisors and shift relief supervisors in different areas of Two operators also worked on each of the conversion department. shifts. the three The activities performed in this department were critical to the At the lowest level of the produc quality of the final product. tion line, the raw materials were received in bulk and fed into a bin, from which it is fed through a conveyor belt into the boiler The semi-finished product section of the plant for processing. passed through different stages before final packaging. The Incident Suspension of Timothy James
Timothy James worked at the begin.ning of the production line in He had the raw material handling section of the department. joined the company in 1969 as a casual worker in the packaging In 1972 he was transferred to the conversion depart department. In December 1972, he was warned for sleeping on the job. ment. In February 1973, he was given a raise in pay on satisfactory Nothing extraordinary seemed to have completion of training. characterised his work history up until 1984, when he received The conferal of such an the company’s fifteen (15) year award. longer had to “clock-in or out”. award meant that Timothy no As part of their normal routine duties, operators were required to keep the area around the bin free from extraneous matter. Each operator was required to perform that duty once every six (6) weeks for a week. 93
On Friday, January 8, 1988, Leroy Drakes, the shift supervisor on Timothy’s shift, noticed that there was extraneous matter around the bn. Drakes twice drew the above to his attention. Timothy refused to comply, ‘the shift stpervisor drew the matter to the attention of the Departmental Superintendent, Mr. Edward Jacobs. The latter requested Timothy to perform the function, but he again refused. Jacobs then reported the incident to St.Clair Brewster, who as (Ag.) General...