LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

CHAPTER 88:01

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT

An Act to repeal and replace the Industrial Stabilisation Act 1965, and to make better provision for the stabilisation, improvement and promotion of industrial relations.

[31ST JULY 1972]

WHEREAS it is enacted inter alia by section 13(1) of the Constitution that an Act of Parliament to which that section applies may expressly declare that it shall have

effect notwithstanding sections 4 and 5 of the Constitution and, if any such Act does so declare, it shall have effect accordingly:

And whereas it is provided by section 13(2) of the Constitution that an Act of Parliament to which that section applies is one the Bill for which has been passed by both Houses of Parliament and at the final vote thereon in each House has been supported by the votes of not less than three-fifths of all the members of that house:

And whereas it is necessary and expedient that the provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding sections 4 and 5 of the Constitution: Enacted by the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago as follows:

1. (1) This Act may be cited as the Industrial Relations Act.

(2) This Act shall have effect notwithstanding sections 4 and 5 of the Constitution.

PRELIMINARY

2. (1) In this Act -

"bargaining agent" means a trade union certified as such by the Board with respect to a

bargaining unit for the purpose of collective bargaining;

"bargaining unit" means that unit of workers determined by the Board as an appropriate bargaining unit;

'Board" means the Registration Recognition and Certification Board established under section 21;

"collective agreement" means an agreement in writing between an employer and the recognised majority union on behalf of workers employed by the employer in a bargaining unit for which the union is certified, containing provisions respecting terms and conditions of employment of the workers and the rights, privileges or duties of the employer or of the recognised majority union or of the workers, and for the regulation of the mutual relationship between an employer and the recognised majority union;

"collective bargaining" means treating and negotiating with a view to the conclusion of a collective agreement or the revision or renewal thereof or the resolution of disputes;

"company" means a body corporate and an unincorporated association and includes a partnership and a firm;

"Court" means the Industrial Court established under this Act;

"employer" means a person who employs a worker and the term shall include

(a) such persons acting jointly for the purpose of collective bargaining;

(b) an association or organisation of employers that is a trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act; and

(c) a person for whose benefit work or duties is or are performed by a worker under a labour only contract, within the meaning of subsection 4(b;

"essential industry" means an industry specified in the First Schedule;

"essential services" means the services set out in the Second Schedule;

"former Act" means the Industrial Stabilisation Act 1965 (repealed by this Act);

"industrial action" means strikes and lockouts, and any action, including sympathy strikes and secondary boycotts (whether or not done in contemplation of, or in furtherance of, a trade dispute), by an employer or a trade union or other organisation or by any number of workers or other persons to compel any worker, trade union or other organisation, employer or any other person., as the case may be, to agree to

terms of employment, or to comply with any demands made by the employer or the trade union or other organisation or by those workers or other persons, and includes action commonly known as a "sit-down strike", a "go-slow" or a "sick-out", except that the expression does not include

(a) a failure to commence work in any agricultural undertaking where work is performed by task caused by a delay in the conclusion of customary arrangements between employers and workers as to the size or nature of a task; and

(b) a failure to commence work or a refusal to continue working by reason of the fact that unusual ' circumstances have arisen which are hazardous or injurious to health or life;

"lockout" means the closing of a place of employment or the suspension of work by an employer or the refusal by an employer to employ or continue to employ any number of workers employed by him, done with a view to induce or compel workers employed by him to agree to terms or conditions of, or affecting employment, but does not include the closing of a place of employment for the protection of property or persons therein;

"Municipal Council" means a Council as defined in the Port-of-Spain Corporation Ordinance, the San Fernando Corporation Ordinance, or the Arima Corporation Ordinance;

"office", in relation to a trade union or other organisation means

(a) the office of a member of the committee of management of the trade union or other organisation;

(b) the office of president-general, president, vice president, secretary, assistant-secretary, shop steward or other executive officer, by whatever name called, of the trade union or other organisation;

(c) the office of a person holding, whether as a trustee or otherwise, property of the trade union or other organisation or property in which the trade union or other organisation has any beneficial interest; and

(d) every office within the trade union or other organisation for the filling of which an election is conducted within the trade union or other organisation;

"person" includes a company and a trade union;

"recognised majority union" means a trade union certified under Part 3 as the bargaining agent for workers comprised in a bargaining unit;

"Registrar" means the person for the time being performing the duties of Registrar of the Court and includes any Deputy or Assistant Registrar;

"strike" means a cessation of work, a refusal to work, to continue to work or to take up work by workers acting in concert or in accordance with a common understanding, or other concerted activity on the part, of workers in contemplation of, or in furtherance of, a trade dispute, except that the expression does not include action commonly known as a "Sit-down strike", "go-slow" or "sick-out";

"trade dispute" or "dispute", subject to subsection (2). means any dispute between an employer and workers of that employer or a trade union on behalf of such workers, connected with the dismissal, employment, non-employment, suspension from employment, refusal to employ, re-employment or reinstatement of any such workers, including a dispute connected with the terms and conditions of the employment or labour of any such workers, and the expression also includes a dispute between workers and workers or trade unions on their behalf as to the representation of a

worker (not being a question or difference as to certification of recognition under Part 3);

"trade union" or "union" means an association or organisation registered as a trade union under the Trade Unions Act, not being an association or organisation of employers registered as a trade union under that Act;

"worker", subject to subsection (3), means

(a) any person who has entered into or works under a contract with an employer to do any skilled, unskilled, manual, technical, clerical or other work for hire or reward, whether the contract is expressed, or implied, oral or in writing, or partly oral and partly in writing, and whether it is a contract of service or apprenticeship or a contract personally to execute any work or labour;

(b) any person who by any trade usage or custom or as a result of any established pattern of employment or recruitment of labour in any business or industry is usually employed or

usually offers himself for and accepts employment accordingly; or

(c) any person who provides services or performs duties .for an employer under a labour only contract, within the meaning of subsection 4(b); and includes

(d) any such person who-

(i) has been dismissed, discharged, retrenched, refused employment, or not employed, whether or not in connection with, or in consequence of, a dispute; or

(ii) whose dismissal, discharge, retrenchment or refusal of employment has led to a dispute; or

(e) any such person who has ceased to work as a result of a lockout or of a strike, whether or not in contravention of Part 5, as the case may be.

(2) For the purposes of this Act

(a) any question or difference as to the interpretation or application of

(i) an order or award of the Court, or of any provision thereof; or

(ii) the provisions of a registered agreement (within the meaning of Part 4); and

(b) any question or difference as to the amendment of a registered agreement (within the meaning of Part 4), shall be deemed not to constitute a trade dispute

(3) For the purposes of this Act, no person shall be regarded as a worker, if he is

(a) a public officer, as defined by section 3 of the Constitution;

(b) a member of the Defence Force or any ancillary force or service thereof, or of the Police, Fire or Prison Service or of the Police Service of any Municipality, or a person who is employed as a rural constable or estate constable;

(c) a member of the Teaching Service as defined in the Education Act, or is employed in a teaching capacity by a university or other institution, of higher learning;

(d) a member of the staff and an employee of the Central Bank established under the Central Bank Act;

(e) a person who, in the opinion of the Board

(i) is responsible for the formulation of policy in any undertaking or business or the effective control of the whole or any department of any undertaking or business; or

(ii) has an effective voice in the formulation of policy in any undertaking or business;

(/) employed in any capacity of a domestic nature, including that of a chauffeur, gardener or handyman in or about a private dwelling house and paid by the householder;

(g) an apprentice within the meaning of the Industrial Training Act.

(4) For the purposes of this Act

(a) the Chief Personnel Officer, referred to in section 13 of the Civil Service Act, shall be deemed to be the employer of any worker employed by the Government;

(b) where a person engages the services of a worker for the purpose of providing those services to another, then, such other person shall be

deemed to be the employer of the worker under a labour only contract.

(5) For the purposes of this Act, the Chief Personnel Officer, referred to in

section 13 of the Civil Service Act, shall be deemed to be the employer of any worker employed by the Municipal Councils.

(6) In subsection (5) ''worker" does not include an officer as defined in section 2 of the Statutory Authorities Act.

(7) Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to abrogate, abridge or infringe the principle of freedom of association, whether of workers or of employers in trade unions or other associations or organisations, respectively.

3. (1) The Minister may, in relation to any matter or relegation by class of matters, delegate to any officer or officers within the Ministry of Labour any of his powers or functions under this Act, except this power of delegation, so that the delegated powers or functions may be exercised by such officer or officers with respect thereto.

(2) A delegation under this section shall be revocable at will, and no delegation shall prevent the exercise of any power or function by the Minister.

PART 1

THE INDUSTRIAL COURT

Establishment, Jurisdiction and Procedure

4. (1) For the purposes of this Act, there is hereby established an Industrial Court which shall be a superior court of record and shall have in addition to the jurisdiction and powers conferred on it by this Act all the powers

inherent in such a court.

(2) The Court shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed in all courts.

(2A) The Court shall consist of two Divisions, each consisting of a Chairman and such number of other members being not less than two, as may be appointed by the President of Trinidad and Tobago who shall in

every instrument of appointment indicate to which Division the appointment is being made.

(2B) The two Divisions are-

(a) the General Services Division which shall have and exercise the jurisdiction of the Court as set out in section 7 with respect to services other than essential services; and

(b) the Essential Services Division which shall have and exercise the jurisdiction of the Court as set out in section 7 with respect to essentialservices.

(2C) The Special Tribunal established by the Civil Service Act, and referred to in the Police Service Act, the Fire Service Act, the Prison Service Act, the Education Act, the Supplemental Police Act and the Central Bank Act, shall consist of the Chairman of the Essential Services Division and two other members of that Division selected by him, and shall hear and determine disputes arising in the Civil Service, the Police Service, the Fire Service, the Prison Service, the Teaching Service, the Supplemental Police and the Central Bank as if those disputes arose in essential services.

(2D) A person appointed to the Court as a member of one Division or deemed by this Act to be such a member, may not sit as a member of the other Division unless invited to do so by the Chairman of that other Division, but while so sitting shall exercise all the functions of a member of that other Division.

(3) The Court shall consist of the following members:

(a) a President of the Court who shall be

(i) a Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature designated, with his consent, by the President of Trinidad and Tobago after consultation with the Chief Justice;

or

(ii) a person who has the qualification (age excepted) to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature and is appointed by the President of Trinidad and Tobago after consultation with the Chief Justice,

but a Judge designated President of the Court under subparagraph (i) shall be deemed not to have ceased to hold his substantive office of Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature by reason only of such designation and the provisions of section 136(2) of the Constitution shall be deemed to apply to proceedings in the Court:

(b) a Vice-President of the Court, who shall be a barrister or solicitor of not less than ten years standing, appointed by the President of Trinidad and Tobago;

(c) such number of other members as may be determined by the President of Trinidad and Tobago from time to time who shall be appointed by the President of Trinidad and Tobago from among persons experienced in industrial relations or qualified as economists or accountants, or who are barristers or solicitors of not less than five years standing.

(3A) The President of the Court shall be the Chairman of the Division of which he is a member and the Vice President of the Court shall, where he is not a member of the Division of which the President is Chairman, be the Chairman of the other Division.

In every case where the Vice-President of the Court is a member of the same Division as the President of the Court or where there is no Vice-President, the Chairman of the other Division shall be so appointed by the President of

Trinidad and Tobago.

(4) Where for any reason the President of the Court is unable to carry out his functions under this Act, the President of Trinidad and Tobago may designate the Vice-President of the Court to act in his place until the President of the Court is again able to carry out such functions or until another person is designated or appointed as President of the Court.

(5) Where for any reason the Vice-President of the Court is unable to carry out his functions under this Act, the President of Trinidad and Tobago may designate a person who is qualified for appointment as such to act in his place until the Vice-President of the Court is again able to carry out such functions or until another person is appointed Vice-President of the Court.

(6) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), where for any reason any member of the Court, other than the President of the Court or Vice-President of the Court, is unable to carry out his functions under this Act, the President of Trinidad and Tobago may appoint some other duly qualified person to be, a member of the Court for the period of such inability.

(7) A person appointed to act under subsection (4), (5) or (6) shall have and exercise the same powers and authority as the member of the Court for whom he is acting.

(8) A member of the Court appointed, other than under subsection (3)(a)(i), may be removed from office during his term of office only for inability to perform the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause or for mis-behaviour), but shall not be removed except in accordance with section 106 of the Constitution.

(9) Notwithstanding that his term of office has expired, a member of the Court, other than one designated under subsection (3)(a)(i), may, with the permission of the President of Trinidad and Tobago acting in accordance with the advice of the President of the Court, continue in office for such period after the end of his term as may be necessary to enable him to deliver judgment or to do any other thing in relation to proceedings that were commenced before the term of office expired.

(10) The Court shall be deemed to be duly constituted notwithstanding any vacancy in any of the offices referred to in this section.

(11) A person who immediately before the commencement of this Act is a member of the Court, is deemed to be a member of the General Services Division.

5. (1) The members of the Court appointed, other than remuneration, under section 4(3)(a)(i), shall be paid such salaries as the President of Trinidad and Tobago may determine, and shall hold office for such period, being not less than three or more than five years as is specified in their respective instruments of appointment, but shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(2) The President of the Court and other members of the Court shall receive such allowances as may be prescribed by Regulations made by the President of Trinidad and Tobago.

(3) The salary and allowances payable to a member of the Court appointed, other than under section 4(3)(a)(i), and his other terms of service shall not be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment, and, for the purposes

of this subsection, in so far as the terms of service of any person depend upon the option of that person, the terms for which he opts shall be taken to be more advantageous to him than any other terms for which he might have opted.

(4) A member of the Court, other than a person appointed under section 4(3)(a)(i) or the widow, children, dependants or personal representatives of such a member, may be granted such gratuity, pension or other superannuation benefits as may be prescribed by Regulations made by the President of Trinidad and Tobago. Any Regulations made under this subsection shall be subject to

gative resolution of the House of Representatives.

(5) The salaries, allowances, gratuity, pension or other superannuation benefits payable under this section shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.

6. There shall be appointed a Registrar and other officers of the Court who shall be public officers.

7. (1) In addition to the powers inherent in it as a Jurisdiction of superior court of record, the Court shall have jurisdiction-

(a) to hear and determine trade disputes;

(b) to register collective agreements and to hear and determine matters relating to the registration of such agreements;

(c) to enjoin a trade union or other organisation or workers or other persons or an employer from taking or continuing industrial action;

(d) to hear and determine proceedings for industrial relations offences under this Act;

(e) to hear and determine any other matter brought before it, pursuant to the provisions of this Act.

(2) The Court shall have the same power to punish contempts of the Court as is possessed by the High Court of Justice.

(3) Subject to subsection (6), the jurisdiction of the court in any matter before it may be exercised by one or more members, either assigned from his own Division by the Chairman, of the Division before which the matter falls to be heard or invited by him from the other Division.

(4) In exercising such jurisdiction, the President, the Vice-President, or a member, of the Court, or a Division thereof, may sit at such places as the President of the Court may consider necessary for the despatch of the business of the Court.

(5) Where in any proceedings before two or more members of the Court a vacancy occurs in the membership in relation to such proceedings by reason of the inability from any cause of any member to continue to function, the remaining member or members may, subject to subsection (6), continue to hear and determine those proceedings notwithstanding such vacancy, and no act, proceedings or determination of the Court shall be called in question or invalidated by reason of such vacancy.

(6) The jurisdiction of the Court to punish a contempt of the Court committed in the face or hearing of the Court, when constituted by a single member, may be exercised by that member; in any other case, the jurisdiction of the Court to punish a contempt of the Court shall be exercised by at least two members of the Court sitting together, of whom one shall be the President, the Vice-President or the Chairman of a Division.

(7) In addition to any other action which the Court may take for contempt for non-compliance with or non observance of its orders or awards the Court may impose fines for a contempt consisting of a failure to comply with its orders or awards.

(8) For the purposes of the foregoing provisions of this section a trade union and the holders of office in a trade union or other organisation shall be deemed to be guilty of a breach of an order or award (including an order made under section 65) by which the union or the other organisation is bound, if a worker or other person who is a member of that union or other organisation, respectively, commits that breach by the direction or with the concurrence of any holder of an office in that trade union or other organisation.

(9) All matters brought before two or more members of the Court shall be determined by a majority of those members and where those members are equally divided, the Court shall order a rehearing of the matter, but so however that no member previously concerned in a matter shall sit on the rehearing thereof.

(10) Subject to section 4(2c), where a dispute involving a bargaining unit comprising workers in essential services as well a~ workers in services other than essential services is referred to the Court by the Minister, then, where the Minister advises in writing that the dispute arose in an essential service the dispute shall be heard by the Essential Services Division; in every other case the

dispute shall be heard by the General Services Division.

8. (1) The Court, as respects the attendance and examination of witnesses, the production and inspection of documents, the enforcement of its orders and other matters necessary or proper for the due exercise of its jurisdiction, shall have all such powers, rights and privileges as are vested in the High Court of Justice on the occasion of an action.

(2) -For the purpose of dealing with any matter before it, the Court may of its own motion summon any person who in the opinion of the Court is able to give such information as it considers necessary and may, in addition to and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, notwithstanding anything contained in the Income Tax Act or in any other law, require the Board of Inland Revenue or a Commissioner thereof or any other public officer to produce or make available any information which the Court may consider necessary; and the Court may, in its discretion and subject to such conditions as it may impose,

disclose so much as it thinks fit of the information so produced or made available, and the Court- may also prohibit the publication of any portion thereof.

(3) Where the Court exercises its power to summon a person to give information under subsection (2), the Court may direct, that all or any part of the proceedings in the matter before it, as it may consider proper, be thereafter conducted in camera, and in any such case it may enjoin the parties or any of them and any member of the public and officers of the Court from disclosing any such information given in their presence and hearing.

(4) A summons signed by the Registrar shall be equivalent to any formal process issuable in any action taken in the High Court of Justice for enforcing the attendance of witnesses and compelling the production of documents.

(5) The Court may require evidence or argument to be presented in writing and may decide the matters upon which it will hear oral evidence or argument.

(6) The Court may appoint one or more assessors who, in the opinion of the Court, are qualified by reason of their knowledge and experience to assist in the determination of any matter over which it has jurisdiction; and in appointing assessors, the Court shall have regard to any submissions or objections that may be put forward by any party or parties appearing before it.

9. (1) In the hearing and determination of any matter before it, the Court may act without regard to technicalities of evidence and legal form and shall not be bound to follow the rules of evidence stipulated in the Evidence Act, but the Court may inform itself on any matter in such manner as it thinks just and may take into account opinion evidence and such facts as it considers relevant and material, but in any such case the parties to the proceedings shall be given the opportunity, if they so desire, of adducing evidence in regard thereto.

(2) The parties to the proceedings are entitled to appear in person or may be assisted in the presentation of their respective cases by counsel or solicitor or by a duly

authorised representative.

10. (1) The Court may in relation to any matter before it

(a) remit the dispute, subject to such condition as it may determine, to the parties or the Minister for further consideration by them with a view to settling or reducing the several issues in dispute;

(b) make an order or award (including a provisional or interim order or award) relating to any or all of the matters in dispute or give a direction in pursuance of the hearing or determination;

(c) without prejudice to and in addition to its powers under section 7(2), (6) and (7), award compensation on complaints brought and proved before it by a party for whose benefit the order or award was made regarding any breach or non-observance of an order or award of any term thereof (other than an order or award for the payment of damages or compensation);

(d) dismiss any matter or part of a matter or refrain from further hearing or from determining the matter, if it appears that the matter or part

thereof is trivial, or that further proceedings are unnecessary or undesirable in the public interest.

(2) The Court shall make no order as to costs in any dispute before it, unless for exceptional reasons the Court considers it proper to order otherwise and, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Supreme Court of

Judicature Act, relating to the award of costs, the Court of Appeal shall in disposing of any appeal brought to it from the Court make no order as to costs, unless for exceptional reasons the Court of Appeal considers it proper to order

otherwise.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or in any other rule of law to the contrary, the Court in the exercise of its powers shall

(a) make such order or award in relation to a dispute before it as it considers fair and just, having regard to the interests of the persons

immediately concerned and the community as a whole;

(b) act in accordance with equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the case before it, having regard to the principles and practices of good industrial relations.

(4) Notwithstanding any rule of law to the contrary, but subject to subsections (5) and (6), in addition to its jurisdiction and powers under this Part, the Court may, in`any dispute concerning the dismissal of a worker, order the

re-employment or re-instatement (in his former or a similar position) of any worker, subject to such conditions as the Court thinks fit to impose, or the payment of compensation or damages whether or not in lieu of such re-employment or re-instatement, or the payment of exemplary damages in lieu of such re-employment or re-instatement.

(5) An order under subsection (4) may be made where, in the opinion of the Court, a worker has been dismissed in circumstances that are harsh and oppressive or not in accordance with the principles of good industrial relations practice; and in the case of an order for compensation or damages, the Court in making an assessment thereon shall not be bound to follow any rule of law for the assessment of compensation or damages and the Court may make an assessment that is in its opinion fair and appropriate.

(6) The opinion of the Court as to whether a worker has been dismissed in circumstances that are harsh and oppressive or not in accordance with the principles of good industrial relations practice and any order for compensation or damages including the assessment thereof made pursuant to subsection (5) shall not be challenged, appealed against, renewed, quashed or called in question in any court on any account whatever.

(7) Where, in any proceedings for the non-observance of an order or award or the interpretation or application of a registered agreement (within the meaning of Part 4), it appears to the Court that a worker of the employer has not been paid an amount to which he is entitled under such an order or award or such an agreement the Court, in addition to any other order, may order the employer to pay the worker the amount to which he is entitled and any such amount shall he deemed to be damages and be recoverable in the manner provided by section 14.

11. In addition to the powers conferred on it under the foregoing provisions of this Part, the Court may-

(a) proceed to hear and determine a trade dispute in the absence of any party who has been duly summoned to appear before the Court and has failed to do so;

                                (b) order any person

(i) who in the opinion of the Court may be affected by an order or award; or

(ii) who in any other case the Court considers it just to be joined as a party, to the proceedings under consideration on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by rules made by the Court;

(c) generally give all such directions and do all such things as are necessary or expedient for

the expeditious and just hearing and determination of the trade dispute or any other matter before it.

12. (1) The Court or any one member exercising jurisdiction in accordance with section 7(3) shall make all such suggestions and do all such things as appear to be right, and proper for reconciling the parties.

(2) In any matter before the Court, the President, or in his absence the Vice President, of the Court may, with a view to the settlement of a dispute by conciliation take steps or designate one or more members of the Court to take steps to secure such settlement, but if the conciliation fails to result in the settlement of the dispute, the member who took such steps shall not sit or continue to sit as a member exercising jurisdiction to hear and determine such a dispute.

13. (1) Subject to this Act, the Court may, by Rules, regulate its practice and procedure for the hearing and determination of all matters before it.

(2) Matters which fall to be heard and determined by the Essential Service Division shall, once hearing has commenced, be heard from day to day, as far as possible,

until hearing is completed.

(3) Judgment in a matter referred to in subsection (2) shall be delivered not later than thirty days from the date of completion of the hearing save in exceptional

circumstances when judgment shall be delivered not later than twenty-one days after the end of the thirty-day period referred to herein in which case the nature of the

exceptional circumstances which gave rise to the delay shall be indicated in the judgment.

14. (1) On the expiration of the time fixed for compliance with an order or award for the payment of compensation, damages or fines, the amount thereof shall become due and payable and is recoverable in the manner provided by this section.

(2) Compensation, damages or fines are, certificate issued by the Registrar staling that the specified therein are due and payable under an award of the Court-

(a) recoverable summarily as a civil debt; or

(b) recoverable in the manner provided in subsection (3), by the person for whose benefit the order or award for such compensation or damages was made or, in the case of an order for a fine, by the Registrar and the certificate of the Registrar under this subsection is conclusive evidence of the matters specified therein.

(3) Upon the filing of a certificate issued under subsection (2) in the Registry of the High Court of Justice, the order or award shall as from the date of filing be of the same force and effect and proceedings may be taken thereon and the order or award may be enforced as if it had been a judgment originally obtained or entered upon the date of filing .in the High Court of Justice.

(4) The High Court of Justice shall have the same control and jurisdiction over the order or award as it has over the judgements given by itself, but in so far only as relates to execution.

(5) All costs and charges incurred under this section shall be recoverable in like manner as if included in the certificate.

(6) All fines recoverable by the Registrar under this section shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

15. An order or award in any matter referred to the order may be Court for determination may be made operative from such retroactive date as the Court may consider fair and just having regard to all the circumstances of the case.

16. (1) Where any question arises as to the interpretation of any order or award of the Court, the Minister or any to party to the matter may apply to the Court for a decision on such question and the Court shall decide the matter

either after hearing the parties or, without such hearing, where the consent of the parties has first been obtained. The decision of the Court shall be notified to the parties and shall be binding in the same manner as the decision on the original order or award.

(2) Where there is any question or difference as to the interpretation or application of the provisions of a registered collective agreement (within the meaning of Part 4) any employer or trade union having an interest in the matter or the Minister may make application to the Court for the determination of such question or difference.

(3) The decision of the Court on any matter before it under subsection (2) shall be binding on the parties thereto and is final.

17. The Court shall expeditiously hear, inquire into and investigate every dispute and all matters affecting the merits of such dispute before it and, without limiting the

generality of the foregoing, shall in particular hear, receive and consider submissions, arguments and evidence made, presented or tendered (whether orally or in writing)

(a) by or on behalf of the employer concerned;

(b) by the trade union concerned on behalf of the workers involved in the dispute;

(c) in the name of the Attorney General, if he has intervened under section 20.

18. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the hearing and determination of any proceedings before the Court, and an order or award or any finding or decision of the Court in any

matter (including an order or award)

(a) shall not be challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed or called in question in any court on any account whatever; and

(b) shall not be subject to prohibition, mandamus or injunction in any court on any account whatever.

(2) Subject to this Act, any party to a matter before the Court is entitled as of right to appeal to the Court of Appeal on ny of the following grounds, but no other:

(a) that the Court had no jurisdiction in the matter, but it shall not be competent for the Court of Appeal to entertain such ground of appeal, unless objection to the jurisdiction of the Court has been formally taken at some time during the progress of the matter before the making of the order or award;

(b) that the Court has exceeded its jurisdiction in the matter;

(c) that the order or award has been obtained by fraud;

(d) that any finding or decision of the Court in any matter is erroneous in point of law; or

(e) that some other specific illegality not mentioned above, and substantially affecting the merits of the matter, has been committed in the course of the proceedings.

(3) On the hearing of an appeal in any matter brought before it under this Act. the Court of Appeal shall have power

(a) if it appears to the Court of Appeal that a new hearing should be held, to set aside the order or award appealed against and order that a new hearing be held;

 or

(b) to order a new hearing on any question without interfering with the finding or decision upon any other question,

and the Court of Appeal may make such final or other order as the circumstances of the matter may require.

(4) The Court of Appeal may in any matter brought on appeal before it, dismiss the appeal if it considers that no substantial miscarriage of justice has actually occurred although it is of the opinion that any point raised in the appeal might have been decided in favour of the appellant,

19. (1) An order or award of the Court shall be binding on

(a) all parties to the dispute who appear or are represented before the Court;

(b) all persons who have been summoned to appear as parties to the dispute, whether they have appeared or not:

(c) in the case of employers, any successor to, or assignee of, the business of the employer who is a party bound by such order or award, including any company that has acquired, or taken over the business of such a party;

(d) any trade union on whom such order or award is at any time declared by the Court to be binding, as well as on its successors; and

(e) all workers belonging to a bargaining unit to which such order or award refers.

(2) The Court may, during the course of any dispute pending before it, direct that any successors to, or any assignees of, the business of the employer who is a party to the dispute shall be joined or substituted as a party to the dispute; and any order or award of the Court in such dispute (whenever made) shall, save to the extent that it is otherwise expressly provided in such order or

award, be binding on the successors or assignees of that employer.

(3) For the purposes of this section, any question whether a person is the successor to, or an assignee of, another shall be determined by the Court from all the circumstances in accordance with good conscience and the principles of good industrial relations practice and shall be binding on the persons referred to in

subsection (1) and is conclusive for all purposes connected with the order or award.

20. (1) Where any dispute is before the Court, the Attorney General may, for the purpose of giving such assistance to the Court as he may be able to provide, intervene, whether at his own instance or at the invitation of the Court, and in particular, the Attorney General may intervene at his own instance in any dispute where it appears to him that some question of public importance or affecting the public interest or both has arisen and that it is fit and proper that the public interest should be represented therein.

(2) Upon any intervention by the Attorney General under subsection (1) it shall be open to him to submit that the Court, in addition to taking into account any submissions, arguments and evidence presented or tendered by or on behalf of the employers concerned and the workers concerned, be guided by the following considerations

(a) the necessity to maintain and expand the level of employment;

(b) the necessity to ensure to workers a fair share of increases in productivity in enterprises;

(c) the necessity for the establishment and maintenance of reasonable differentials in rewards between different categories of skills;

                (d) the necessity to maintain and improve the standard of living of workers;

(e) the necessity to preserve and promote the competitive position of products of Trinidad and Tobago in the domestic market as well as in overseas markets;

(f) the need to ensure the continued ability of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to finance development programmes in the public sector, and the Court may take such matters into consideration.

(3) No intervention by the Attorney General shall be taken to cause the Attorney General to become a party to the dispute before the Court, and accordingly no order or award may be

made against the Attorney General either in the matter or, subject to section 10(2), as to costs.

(4) Where the Attorney General intervenes in a dispute he may instruct such persons as he thinks fit to appear on his behalf, and any expenses thereby incurred shall be met out of the public funds of Trinidad and Tobago.

  

Next ....PartII