Labour Court Database
File Number: CD89276
Case Number: LCR12439
Section / Act: S67
Parties: CLARKS SHOES LIMITED - and - IRISH DISTRIBUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRADE UNION
Claim by the Union on behalf of 13 full-time sales assistants for a reduction in the frequency of Saturday working.
5. Having considered the submissions from both parties, the
Court is not satisfied that the Union have presented sufficient
evidence to substantiate the claim that an agreement as outlined
The Court accordingly does not recommend concession of the claim.
Division: Ms Owens Mr Shiel Ms Ni Mhurchu
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
CD89276 RECOMMENDATION NO. LCR12439
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1976
PARTIES: CLARKS SHOES LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE FEDERATED UNION OF EMPLOYERS)
IRISH DISTRIBUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRADE UNION
1. Claim by the Union on behalf of 13 full-time sales assistants
for a reduction in the frequency of Saturday working.
2. The Company have 3 branches in Dublin and are open for trading
6 days a week Monday through to Saturday. Sales staff work 5 days
out of 6, and their day off is done on a rota basis which allows
each worker to receive a Saturday off every 6 weeks. The Union
claims that the Company, in 1987, gave a verbal commitment that
full-time staff would have every second Saturday off rather than
the existing 1 in 6 pattern. The Union says that the commitment
was given by a previous area manager in return for the Company
being allowed to employ more part-time staff than was provided for
at the time by the agreed full-time/part-time ratio. In February,
1989, the ratios of full-time to part-time staff were as follows:-
Full-Time Part-Time Part-Time(Saturday)
Henry St. Store. 10 5 7
O'Connell St. Store. 9 9 8
The Grafton Street Store is not trading at the moment as a result
of a fire.
(The Distributive Trades Registered Agreement only allows 1
part-time worker to every 4 full-time workers). The Company deny
any such commitment stating that such a change would require a
formal agreement. As agreement could not be reached locally, the
matter was referred on 17th January, 1989, to the conciliation
service of the Labour Court. No agreement could be achieved at a
conciliation conference held on 31st March, 1989, and on 24th
April, 1989, the issue was referred to the Labour Court for
investigation and recommendation. The Court investigated the
dispute on 25th May, 1989.
3. 1. The previous area manager, in October, 1986, gave the
full-time sales staff a verbal commitment to reduce Saturday
working to 1 Saturday per fortnight in return for a change in
the ratio of part-time to full-time staff. The staff ratios
have been changed, however, the Saturday working rosters have
remained the same.
2. The commitment to reduce Saturday working was given
directly to the sales staff concerned, not to the Union who
were not involved until August, 1988, when the sales staff
requested the Union to pursue the matter. It is highly
unlikely that the sales staff would allow the established
ratios to be altered unless they were to receive something in
return. This something is the reduction in Saturday working.
4. 1. A third of sales are done on Saturdays. For this reason
it is essential that the Company have their most experienced
staff available on Saturdays to help maximise the sales
2. The claim is based on an alleged link to a part-time staff
agreement and a 'commitment' given by the then area manager.
The Company refutes this. There are no records to
substantiate the claim. Indeed, the Union and the vast
majority of staff were not even aware of the alleged
'commitment' until 2.5 years later.
3. The agreement on part-time staff was not linked, in any
way, to any other issues, including Saturdays off. The Union
were not party to the agreement and have failed to produce any
evidence in support of their claim.
4. The Programme for National Recovery has been agreed and
implemented within the Company. Concession of the claim would
have a detrimental effect on efficiency and competitiveness.
It would also have serious cost increasing implications for