Labour Court Database
File Number: CD90277
Case Number: LCR12990
Section / Act: S67
Parties: D.H.L. INTERNATIONAL (IRELAND) LIMITED - and - FOUR WORKERS
Dispute concerning transportation facilities in respect of four workers.
5. The Court having fully considered the submissions of the
parties recommends that the issue be resolved by the payment to
the workers concerned of a lump sum of #500 in full and final
settlement of their claim.
Division: MrMcGrath Mr Brennan Mr Devine
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
CD90277 RECOMMENDATION NO. LCR12990
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1976
PARTIES: D.H.L. INTERNATIONAL (IRELAND) LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IGNATIUS M. HOULIHAN & SONS, SOLICITORS)
1. Dispute concerning transportation facilities in respect of
2. The workers concerned are employed as checker loaders and
joined Elan International in 1984. They worked two eight hour
shifts - evenings and nights and were provided with transport to
and from work. In June, 1987 they commenced working split shifts
which required having to travel to and from work twice daily. In
April, 1989 Elan was taken over by D.H.L. International.
Following the takeover a number of changes occurred in work
practices. Amongst the changes was the withdrawal by Management
of the transport facility which the workers concerned enjoyed for
a number of years. The workers are claiming the re-introduction
of transportation facilities forthwith claiming that they are now
suffering considerable inconvenience and financial loss. The
Company has rejected the claim. Local discussions failed to
resolve the issue which was referred to the conciliation service
of the Labour Court on the 4th January, 1990. A conciliation
conference was held on the 30th March, 1990 but no agreement was
reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 31st
May, 1990. A Court hearing was held in Limerick on the 13th June,
3. 1. The workers concerned undertook to go on the split shifts
on the firm understanding that transport would be provided to
and from their place of employment. Had they not received
this undertaking they would not have agreed to work these
hours which are 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. and 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. or
6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
2. The Company removed transportation facilities without
consultation and its action amounts to a unilateral variation
of the contract of employment between the workers and D.H.L.
International. The workers concerned received no compensation
from the Company, yet as a result of its action they now have
substantial extra expenditure weekly in regard to travelling
to and from work.
4. 1. The Company's takeover of Elan International resulted in
several changes in work practices relating to many other
workers including supervisors managers and clerks. Some of
the alterations in terms of employment resulted in improved
conditions, others did not. For example a Company paid V.H.I.
and pension plan was introduced, all hours worked before 9
a.m. and after 6.00 p.m. would be paid at the rate of #1.90
per hour (dark money), and current salaries were maintained.
2. On a strictly legal interpretation the Company has formed
a new contract of employment with the workforce as from 1st
April, 1990 and has notified the workers concerned of
alterations in the terms of employment previously applying
under Elan International. As the Company has a new contract
of employment with the workers it is not bound by any previous
work practices or concessions which might have applied under
3. The nature of the work being carried out by the Company is
somewhat different to the operation which was carried out by
Elan International. Elan concentrated on delivering large
packages, whereas this Company is primarily concerned with
smaller packages which would not require checker loaders.
Nevertheless the Company has striven to retain the employment
of the workers concerned.
4. The Company found it absolutely necessary to carry out
certain pruning operations and did so with the minimum of fuss
and with prior consultation with the workforce. Management
considers that the workers concerned have been adequately
compensated by the increase in dark money for the loss of the
transport facility. The Company has also improved the split
shift allowance payable to loaders and extended the dark hours