Labour Court Database
File Number: CD88889
Case Number: LCR12298
Section / Act: S67
Parties: BUS EIREANN - and - IRISH TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Claim on behalf of a worker for compensation in respect of loss of earnings.
8. The Court having considered the submissions from both parties
recommends that in the circumstances of this case that
compensation at a rate of 1 year's loss of overtime should be
Division: Ms Owens Mr McHenry Mr Walsh
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
CD88889 RECOMMENDATION NO. LCR12298
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1976
PARTIES: BUS EIREANN
IRISH TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
1. Claim on behalf of a worker for compensation in respect of
loss of earnings.
2. Bus Eireann administers and operates a schools transport
scheme on behalf of the Department of Education and also carries
out maintenance on road freight vehicles under contract for
Iarnrod Eireann. The maintenance work on road passenger vehicles,
schools buses, and road freight vehicles for the Louth/Monaghan
area is carried out in Dundalk. In September, 1989, as part of a
cost cutting exercise the Company contracted the maintenance work
on the Monaghan school buses to a garage in Monaghan.
3. Following this change the worker concerned, who is a shunter
assigned to assist the shift mechanic based in Dundalk, was no
longer required to shunt buses from Dundalk to Monaghan and to the
homes of the school bus drivers and his overtime earnings were
eliminated. In May, 1988 the Union lodged a claim on behalf of
the worker for compensation for loss of earnings of #4,400 based
on a formula of 2.50 times the actual loss subject to a maximum of
#4,400. The Company rejected the claim.
4. The matter was referred to the conciliation service of the
Labour Court on 26th August, 1988. A conciliation conference was
held on 18th October, 1988. As no agreement was possible the
parties consented to a referral to the Labour Court for
investigation and recommendation. A Court hearing was held in
Dundalk on 21st February, 1989.
5. 1. The worker's loss of earnings has occurred because of a
Management decision to effect savings and not as a result of
loss of business. Consequently the claim is a standard one
and the agreed formula should be applied to that loss. The
Union did not object to the changes being implemented.
6. 1. The loss arose from a contracting out of the school bus
maintenance for Co. Monaghan and the substantial reduction in
the road freight fleet in Dundalk. The Company is clear that
this is in fact loss of business and in these circumstances no
compensation for loss of earnings is payable.
2. The losses which occurred and for which compensation is
being claimed was casual overtime by its nature as it only
arose when a school bus or road freight vehicle broke down and
this is not something which can be predicted.
3. Another factor which the Company must bear in mind when it
is assessing claims for loss of earnings is its ability to
make such payments and still remain in business. The
financial situation in Bus Eireann is serious and the
situation in Dundalk garage is extremely serious. In an
effort to ensure the survival of the garage itself and of the
jobs of the staff employed there the Company has had to
examine all its operations to create as cost effective and
efficient an organisation as it possibly can. Iarnrod Eireann
has already taken maintenance work from Bus Eireann in Dundalk
and given it to others to carry out because of the costs. It
is vital therefore that all measures be taken to ensure that
no further work is lost.
4. Bus Eireann is in a serious financial situation and inits
first full year of operation expenditure exceeded revenue
(including Government subvention) by #5.65 million. In
addition to this in the recent Government Estimates the
allocation for the running of the School Transport Scheme was
reduced by 18% or #5.8 million. The same level of service is
to be provided by the Company even with this level of cutback.
Concession therefore of claims such as this would have serious
effects on the Company's ability to achieve these difficult