Labour Court Database
File Number: CD89192
Case Number: LCR12348
Section / Act: S67
Parties: MCNAUGHTONS TWISTEEL REINFORCEMENTS LTD - and - MARINE PORT AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION
Claim for an increase in basic wage and in bonus payments.
5. Having considered the submissions made by the parties, the
Court is of the view that the Company's offer on basic pay is
reasonable and recommends that it should be accepted. The Court
does not recommend concession of the Union's claim for increased
Division: Mr Fitzgerald Mr McHenry Mr O'Murchu
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
CD89192 RECOMMENDATION NO. LCR12348
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1976
PARTIES: MCNAUGHTONS TWISTEEL REINFORCEMENTS LTD
MARINE PORT AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION
1. Claim for an increase in basic wage and in bonus payments.
2. The Company is involved in the manufacture of steel mesh and
in bending and cutting steel. A wage agreement for its workers
expired on 1st October, 1988. In November 1988 the Union served a
claim on the Company for an increase of 5% of basic pay from 1st
October, 1988; an increase in bonus rates and the introduction of
a mechanism to automatically adjust bonus earnings in the future.
The Company offered payment of the terms of the Programme for
National Recovery with effect from 1st January, 1989. This offer
was rejected by the Union and the case was referred to the
Conciliation Service of the Labour Court. A conciliation
conference was held on 9th February, 1989 at which the Company
offered to pay the increase due under the terms of the Programme
for National Recovery from 1st October, 1988. This offer was
rejected by the Union who requested that the claim be referred to
the Labour Court. The company agreed and the Court investigated
the dispute on 3rd April, 1989.
3. 1. The Union submit that negotiations on their claim
primarily concern an increase in bonus earnings. The present
bonus scheme is based on performance of workers who work on
individual machines, such as wire drawing, wire straighteners,
mesh makers, barbenders and bar cutting machines. Depending
on specified targets being reached workers can earn a floor
level bonus of #2.40, #5.00, #7.00 or a maximum of #12.00 per
day. The value of the bonus scheme has not increased since
its introduction and accordingly, its whole purpose of work
beyond the normal rate will be lost as the incentive to work
harder will not be there if no increases are applied. Bonus
earnings should be increased by whatever increases are agreed
upon for the basic rate and the 4% increase applied from
October '88 should be a starting point for indexation.
3. 2. The claim submitted also seeks an increase in basic rate
of pay. Other members of staff have been treated in a more
favourable way than hourly paid workers. The company offered
hourly paid workers a three month pay pause plus the increase
due under the Programme for National Recovery whereas all
other staff members were paid a 4% increase over twelve
4. 1. A Labour Court Recommendation No. 11802 dated 18th
April, 1988 set the terms for the previous wage agreement.
This agreement expired on 1st October, 1988 with a payment of
4% from that date and a payment of #150 in respect of the
period 1st October, 1987 to 1st October, 1988.
2. The level of earnings combining basic pay, bonus and
allowances which apply in the Company are the highest in the
industry and this places it at a disadvantage when competing
for work. Average weekly earnings are in the order of #300
inclusive of basic, bonus and overtime earnings. These
earnings are in excess of that paid by competitors in the U.K.
Actual earnings in the company rose by an average of 15% in
the 1988/89 year (details supplied). This was due to the pay
increase of 4% and #150 under the previous agreement, overtime
earnings and earnings under the bonus scheme.
3. The revised bonus scheme introduced in April, 1986 and
modified by mutual agreement has a minimum floor bonus of #12
weekly guaranteed irrespective of actual production achieved.
Current levels of bonus payments can only be sustained in the
present market where the company can maintain its current
level of business. To increase the bonus levels now and
automatically increase them for the future would build in
costs which the company may not be able to sustain in the
4. The company is prepared to implement the terms of the
Programme for National Recovery from 1st October, 1988 and
requests that the increase due be applied only to basic weekly
pay. No review of the bonus should take place until after the
expiry of the agreement.