Barcastle Essay

1462 words - 6 pages


BARCASTLE LTD. On his return to work from leave on January 11, 1988, Mr. Henry Smith, Personnel Manager of Barcastle Ltd. 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, 1983, 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. ...view middle of the document...

Case Material is prepared as a basis for classroom discussion. Copyright (c) 1988, The University of the West Indies and the Regional Management Development Pilot Project. 92


4 In 1987, Barcastle Ltd. employed one hundred and ten (110) persons, twenty-five {25) of whom constituted the clerical, administrative and professional staff. Eighty-five (85) workers were employed in the three (3) sections of its production department. Relations with the workers and their union had been generally cordial. The company concluded its first collective agreement with the Union in 1970. The Conversion Department The conversion department received and processed the raw material for the final product. Because of the nature of the company's 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 conversion department. The standard shifts were 7.00 a.m.-3.00 p.m.; 3.00 p.m.-10.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m.-7.00 a.m. There' was a superintendent, assisted by shift-supervisors, shift assistant supervisors and shift relief supervisors in different areas of the conversion department. Two operators also worked on each of the three shifts. The activities performed in this department were critical to the quality of the final product. At the lowest level of the production 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 beginning of the production hire` in the raw material handling section of the department. He had joined the company, in 1969 as a casual worker in the packaging department. In 1972 he was transferred to the conversion departIn 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. award meant that Timothy no longer had to "clock-in or out". 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 or. Timothy's shift, noticed that there was extraneous matter around When the bin. Drakes twice drew the above to his attention. Timothy refused to comply, the shift supervisor drew the matter . to the attention of the Departmental Superintendent, Mr. Edward Jacobs. The latter requested Timothy to perform the-function, incident to __ but he again refused. Jacobs then reported the $t.Clair Brewster, who as (Ag.)...

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