Labour Court Database
File Number: CD88265
Case Number: LCR11874
Section / Act: S67
Parties: JOHN RONAN AND SONS - and - AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
The 27th wage round.
5. The Court, having considered the submissions made by the
parties, recommends that the proposal which emerged from the
Conciliation Conference should be accepted subject to the deferral
of the elimination of the morning smoke break to the 18th
Division: Mr Fitzgerald Mr McHenry Mr Devine
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
CD88265 RECOMMENDATION NO. LCR11874
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1976
PARTIES: JOHN RONAN AND SONS
(REPRESENTED BY THE FEDERATED UNION OF EMPLOYERS)
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
1. The 27th wage round.
2. The Company is involved in the processing of raw hides and
skins to semi processed and finished leather for export to
international markets. The claim which concerns 84 full time
employees is for the financial terms outlined in the Programme for
National Recovery and reduction in the working week. Both parties
had meetings on numerous occasions and during these negotiations
the Company proposed that two smoke breaks of ten minutes
duration, morning and afternoon together with a morning tea break
of fifteen minutes duration be discontinued on a phased basis.
The Company also sought a differential for casual employees. The
Company would, in return, implement the terms of the Programme for
National Recovery. No agreement was reached and the dispute was
referred to the conciliation service of the Labour Court on the
8th February, 1988. Conciliation conferences were held on the
3rd and 16th March. The following settlement proposals were
recommended for acceptance by both parties.
" In the context of implementing the Programme for
National Recovery over a three year period from 18th
November, 1987 to 17th November, 1990, it is agreed:-
(a) the 1st phase incrase will be applied from
18th November, 1987 to 17th November, 1988,
i.e. 3% on the first £120 of basic weekly pay
and 2% on any amount of basic weekly pay over
(b) the morning smokebreak will be eliminated
(c) the guarantee of employment to the existing
permanent workforce, given in September,
1987, will be honoured by the Company. "
Union members rejected the proposals in a ballot and the matter
was referred to the Court for investigation and recommendation on
the 7th April, 1988. A Labour Court hearing was held on the 18th
3. 1. The members by ballot vote rejected the proposals. In
considering the points made by the parties to this dispute
attention is drawn to the fact that the Union has reached
agreement with the Company in respect of re-organisation
proposals which will undoubtably improve the Company's
competitiveness and increase their production levels.
Consequently the Union are requesting the Court to issue a
recommendation in their favour granting the terms of the
Programme for National Recovery with no strings. Along with
its claim for the terms of the Programme for National Recovery
the Union also seeks a percentage increase to be applied to
hourly bonus rates in accordance with previous agreements and
also a reduction in the working week.
4. 1. The Company exports finished leather for export to various
international markets. Because of major reorganisation in the
industry the Company is now the only tannery in Ireland. The
reason is that the Irish tannery industry because of high
costs, and cheaper foreign products is uncompetitive in
markets abroad. A high level of investment will have to take
place in new plant and equipment if existing markets are to be
secured and new products and customers developed.
2. The Company's handling costs are at an uncompetitive level
at present. This has created difficulties, on the raw
material/supply side, and with customers.
3. Labour costs comprise a significant element of total
processing costs. As it will not be possible to recoup
increased costs in the marketplace, savings must be generated
from within the Company.
4. All items of Company expenditure have been reviewed in the
context of a general tightening up of operating costs. The
Company's competitors are in the main operating on a piece
rate bonus system (with a fallback rate). Structured smoke
breaks are not provided.