Labour Court Database
File Number: CD86818
Case Number: LCR10894
Section / Act: S67
Parties: IRISH INDUSTRIAL GASES - and - ITGWU;ITGWU
Claims, as follows, on behalf of 48 clerical and administrative workers (No. 2 Branch) and 68 industrial workers (No. 14 Branch), throughout the country, under the 26th wage round:- All Claimants: (a) 10% increase in pay over a 12 month period from the date of expiry of the 24 round. (b) two additional days annual leave. (c) a reduction in the working week to 35 hours. ____________ (d) the option of weekly pay for clerical and administrative workers. (e) average overtime pay to be paid on holida
Division: Ms Owens Mr Heffernan Mr Walsh
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
CD86818 THE LABOUR COURT LCR10894
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1976
RECOMMENDATION NO. LCR10894
PARTIES: IRISH INDUSTRIAL GASES
(REPRESENTED BY THE FEDERATED UNION OF EMPLOYERS)
IRISH TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
1. Claims, as follows, on behalf of 48 clerical and
administrative workers (No. 2 Branch) and 68 industrial workers
(No. 14 Branch), throughout the country, under the 26th wage
(a) 10% increase in pay over a 12 month period from the date of
expiry of the 24 round.
(b) two additional days annual leave.
(c) a reduction in the working week to 35 hours.
(d) the option of weekly pay for clerical and administrative
(e) average overtime pay to be paid on holiday leave for
2. The 25th wage round expired on 31st August, 1986. The
existing holiday entitlement is a base of 20 days per annum. The
current working week is 36 .25 hours for clerical and administrative
workers and 40 hours for industrial workers. The Union served its
claims as listed above in June/July, 1986 and meetings took place
at local level in July and September, 1986. The Company's
position was that it was not in a position to negotiate on any
claim except that of pay. The Union being dissatisfied with this
response, the matters were referred to the conciliation service of
the Labour Court on 10th September and 23rd September, 1986,
respectively by the two branches of the Union. A conciliation
conference took place on 22nd October, 1986 but no progress was
made and the matters were referred to a full hearing of the Labour
Court. The hearing took place on 27th November, 1986.
3. (i) The Union considers the Company to be highly
profitable and does not accept that it cannot afford
to meet its claims due to a decline in sales,
increased competition or loss of customers. The
claims are based on the need to maintain living
standards and to keep conditions of employment in
line with those of good employments.
(ii) The pay claim conforms with the length of agreements
to date. Average settlements at present are 7% over
13.5 months. This Company has always been regarded
as being in the upper region of "well paid"
employments. The Union therefore, sees it as
reasonable to seek concessions above the norm. The
Company can afford to fund such an increase and
remain competitive without impacting on current
(iii) There is a minimum holiday entitlement of 23 days in
the BOC Group of which the Company is a wholly owned
subsidiary. Concession of the Union's claim for
enhanced leave entitlements would provide recognition
for years of service and commitment to the Company by
many of the employees. (A list of companies in which
a holiday entitlement in excess of 20 days applies
was supplied to the Court).
(iv) There has been no major movement in relation to the
reduction of hours of work for more than ten years.
Such a reduction would be socially desirable and
consistent with current trends. It would also help
towards the distribution of employment. There have
been moves towards a reduced working week in BOC.
(v) Clerical and administrative staff are at present paid
monthly. Many of these workers operate on a weekly
budget and have constant difficulty in being tied to
a monthly one. For many years this aspiration was
expressed in the form of a claim for optional
fortnightly pay. This option would create a third
payroll, however, in addition to the existing weekly
and monthly ones. The current claim for weekly pay
overcomes this difficulty in that clerical and
administrative staff could be accommodated on the
existing weekly pay-roll. If management still desire
to deal with clerical pay separately then those
members opting for weekly pay could do so on the
basis of a weekly advance of their monthly salary
expectation, with a final adjustment being made at
the end of the month.
(vi) Industrial workers in the Company work regular
overtime, a minimum amount of which is on a rostered
basis. The existing situation is that these workers
suffer a real drop in income in holiday periods. A
growing number of companies in the private sector
already provide for average pay for holidays. A
number of Labour Court recommendations have also
conceded similar claims.
4. (a) The Company cannot realistically enter into
negotiations on pay and the associated claims. A
breakdown of the existing salary structure and fringe
benefits were supplied to the Court. A significant
cost factor is imposed on the Company by wage
increases. Payroll cost increases have been excessive
in recent years.
(b) The Company would not object to a 17 month agreement
with some form of pay pause and a very modest pay
increase. The additional cost creating items are not
(c) The Company operates in a difficult trading environment
where there is no scope for upward price movement.
Management is determined to ensure that the Company
remains profitable and viable. Profit returns have
been and will be immediately re-invested. A major
rationalisation programme has been announced which will
result in a number of redundancies, due to unacceptably
high operating costs. The Company is a single entity.
The profitability of the BOC Group is not a factor
relevant to this claim.
5. The Court recommends as follows with respect to the various
elements of the 26th Round claim.
Pay: 7% increase from 1/9/1986 for a 15 month period.
Annual leave: The Court does not recommend concession of the
Working Hours: The Court does not recommend concession of the
claim for reduced working hours. However, the Court does
recommend that the Company agree to flexible working arrangements
taking into account the content of Labour Court Recommendation No.
Optional Weekly Pay:
The Union's proposal as set out in paragraph 12.6 of its
submission should be the subject of further discussions between
the parties with particular reference to the cost. If agreement
is reached implementation date should be 1/9/1987.
Average Overtime Pay for Holidays: The Court does not recommend
concession of this part of the claim.
The Court further recommends that on the implementation of the
above the Union agree that a 'no further cost increasing' clause
is inserted in the agreement.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court.
A. K. / M. F. Deputy Chairman