Labour Court Database
File Number: CD917
Case Number: AD9113
Section / Act: S13(9)
Parties: DONNELLY DOCUMENTATION SERVICES LIMITED - and - DUBLIN PRINTING GROUP OF UNIONS
Appeal by the Union Group against Rights Commissioner's recommendation No. ST66/90 concerning the phasing out of transport subsidies.
Division: CHAIRMAN Mr McHenry Mr Devine
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
CD917 APPEAL DECISION NO. AD1391
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1976
PARTIES: DONNELLY DOCUMENTATION SERVICES LIMITED
(Represented by the Federation of Irish Employers)
DUBLIN PRINTING GROUP OF UNIONS
1. Appeal by the Union Group against Rights Commissioner's
recommendation No. ST66/90 concerning the phasing out of transport
2. In May, 1988, the Company advised the Union Group that it was
their intention to move from their then location in Donore Avenue,
Dublin 8, to Clonshaugh, Dublin 5. Following negotiations a
re-location agreement as follows was concluded.
- A lump sum of #200 nett per person payable in two
moieties on 1/9/88 and 2/12/88.
- Additional transport costs to get to new location would
be paid to each individual concerned. To be reviewed
after twelve months.
- Coach to be provided for 16 people. To be reviewed
after twelve months.
In February, 1990, a meeting took place between the parties to
review the agreement. The Company proposed the payment of a lump
sum of #125 (gross), payable on 30th April, 1990, to cover
individual transport costs, excluding those who availed of the
coach. The coach service and commuter tickets provided to cease
with effect from 31st March, 1990. The Union Group rejected the
Company's proposals on the basis that the arguments justifying the
payment of the additional transport costs were still valid. The
Group believe the payment should be consolidated into the wage
rate. The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner and on 4th
May, 1990, the Rights Commissioner issued the following
"The practice of consolidating such a payment into the
rate is a very hazardous exercise for all. The reason
for such payments became fogged over in time, and lead
to anomalies which frankly, in the rigid differential
structures in the printing industry, lead to industrial
problems. In these circumstances I am not prepared to
make such a recommendation. Instead I recommend that
each claimant receives #100 upon acceptance of this
recommendation and #100 at the time of Annual leave.
In the case of the bus travellers I recommend that the
Bus Service is withdrawn at the end of 1990. Any who
drop out of the use of this service before the
31/7/1990 should benefit from the compensation above.
The Unions rejected the Rights Commissioner's recommendation and
on 20th December, 1990, appealed it to the Labour Court under
Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court
heard the appeal on 31st January, 1991.
UNION GROUP'S ARGUMENTS:
3. 1. The Rights Commissioner was incorrect to state that "the
practice of consolidating such a payment into the rate is a
very hazardous exercise for all". It has been the practice in
the printing industry for such costs to be ongoing and it has
not caused difficulties or industrial problems.
2. The number of staff involved in the coach arrangement
has decreased from sixteen to six. Over time the number will
decrease even further. For the staff still involved the
distance to be travelled is considerable. Some staff travel
from Crumlin and Drimnagh. Some of these workers have been
with the Company for many years.
3. The move to the new premises would not have had the
agreement of the workers concerned without the provision of
transport. Without this transport, some of the workers would
find it impossible to be in work on time. The extra travel
time of forty five minutes needed to get to the new location
was not compensated for.
4. The Company undertook to examine less expensive
transport methods, e.g. a smaller coach, but did not pursue
this. The Company also indicated that it was prepared to look
at flexible starting times, but again did not pursue the
matter. There was also a suggestion that the individuals
contribute towards the cost of the transport.
4. 1. The total cost to the Company to date for providing
transport and payments to staff on an on-going basis is in
excess of #70,000. Only six of the original sixteen workers
are using the coach. This costs the Company #750 per month.
It is unrealistic that any Company be expected to continue
with on-going payments and transport provisions as a result of
2. The Union Group seeks the continuation of payments on
the basis that consolidation is a normal event in such cases.
Previous Labour Court Recommendations show that this is not
the case (LCR's 12913, 12750, 12437 and 12362 refer).
Continuation of the payments, either separate or consolidated
onto wages, will result in an anomaly which can only logically
be resolved by claims and expectations from other workers that
they too receive wage rates equivalent to the consolidation.
3. The Company has more than compensated the workers for
the re-location. The new premises are far superior in terms
of environment, facilities, etc. to those in the old location.
In view of the foregoing the Company requests the Court to
uphold the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.
5. Having examined the submissions of the parties and heard the
additional arguments put forward, the Court considers that the
payments recommended by the Rights Commissioner should be replaced
by a single payment of #500 gross payable on 1st March, 1991 in
respect of claimants who had the benefit of ongoing payments.
The provision of the coach should continue until the end of
February, 1991, at which time it should cease. The six staff
still using it should also be paid the #500 gross on 1st March,
These payments are in full and final settlement of the claims.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th February, 1991 ----------------
B O'N/U.S. Chairman