BITU Wins Rights Survey at Constant Spring Golf Club

The entrance to Constant Spring Golf Club, one of Jamaica’s oldest golf clubs. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

The Bustamante Industrial Union (BITU) made a major breakthrough earlier this week when it won representation rights for workers at the more than a century old Constant Spring Golf Club in St Andrew.

The results of a poll conducted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security on Tuesday June 28 showed that around 90 percent of workers who voted did so for union representation. The actual result confirmed by the department is that out of a workforce of 24 workers, 21 voted and only one voted against unionization.

Thus, since June 29, the personnel of the caddies, the guardians of the greenery of the course, the bartenders and the cashiers are recognized by the ministry as members of the union.

BITU organizer Edward Williams, who organized the workers, said it was probably the first time staff at a golf club in Jamaica had become a unionized unit.

“Workers have stood up and walked out to get the kind of representation they recognize BITU is able to provide. These are due increases commensurate with their existing salary review cycles, and there are issues that may not align with the standards set under our labor laws and the core principles of the ILO. (International Labor Organisation) which we must deal with as a matter of priority. We have work to do with this group, just to straighten things out, ”he told the Jamaica Observer.

Williams said the union intends to communicate formally about a standard introductory meeting to be held within two weeks of the ballot, where he will present the context in which demands for improved wages, Benefits and conditions of employment will be addressed in order to establish a collective labor agreement.

“This is where the rubber hits the road for these workers who wait patiently. While I would have unofficially had cordial exchanges with members of the club’s management team, it will be a different day for these workers as it is now about doing business,” he said.

He added that it is highly likely that its development will set a new precedent for employers, such as the owners of the golf club, “because there is always the fear among these workers that if there is no representation union, all kinds of tricks can be tried on them”.

Built in 1902, the Constant Spring Golf Club is one of the oldest in Jamaica. It was originally a nine-hole course, but was expanded to 18 holes in the 1930s. The course and surrounding residential area created an elegant atmosphere that was both luxurious and relaxing for Jamaicans and visitors alike. who love and play golf.

Designed by Scottish-Canadian architect Stanley Thompson, the course is known for its narrow fairways, well-placed bunkers, ravines and ponds, which make for challenging play.