Labour Court Database
File Number: CD94727
Case Number: LCR14664
Section / Act: S26(1)
Parties: IRISH FERRIES - and - SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
(a) Proposal to reduce rate of pay. (b) Proposal to remove Top-Up allowance.
Division: Mr Flood Mr Keogh Mr Walsh
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
CD94727 RECOMMENDATION NO. LCR14664
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. (a) Proposal to reduce rate of pay.
(b) Proposal to remove Top-Up allowance.
2. 1. The B & I Line was privatised in January, 1992 and is
now part of the Irish Continental Group. It is now
known as Irish Ferries since 1st January, 1995.
2. The Company is proposing staffing and pay changes
following a reduction in the number of vessels at
Ferryport Dublin. This is due to the loss of the
Pandoro contract which terminated on 1st June, 1994.
The Company is unable to secure replacement business.
3. As a result of the loss of the Pandoro contract the
Company is proposing a revised salary scale for dockers.
It is also proposed to cease the practice to top-up the
Social Welfare entitlements of workers on lay-off.
4. The Union objected to the Company proposals and referred
the dispute to the Labour Relations Commission.
Conciliation conferences took place on the 18th October,
1994, 28th October, 1994 and 7th November, 1994. The
workers rejected the proposals put forward by the
Conciliation Officer which included manning levels to
operate the new ferry coming on stream in 1995.
The Labour Relations Commission referred the dispute to
the Labour Court on 22nd December, 1994 in accord with
Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
The Court investigated the dispute on the 10th January,
3. 1. The Union does not accept that 6 workers should be laid
off because of the loss of the Pandoro contract. The
Company should find other work for them. Any reduction
in manning levels should be addressed by way of natural
wastage and not by long term lay-offs.
A new Superferry will be introduced by the Company in
May, 1995 which will have the capacity of carrying
greater volumes of freight. The workers concerned
should be retained to handle this extra work.
2. The Union is opposed to any reductions in the rates of
pay for workers and also to the phasing out of the
'top-up' payment for those on lay-off. The current
rates of pay arose as a result of Labour Court
Recommendation No. LCR 13922.
4. 1. It is necessary, in order to remain competitive, for the
Company to lay-off workers following the loss of the
Pandoro contract. However, the Company agreed to top up
Social Welfare payments to 90% of basic pay for those on
lay-off. This is a temporary arrangement and should
have terminated in September, 1994. The Company agreed
to continue with this practice pending the outcome of
2. The loss of the Pandoro contract combined with no
replacement business means that adjustments to the rates
of pay and rosters for those remaining dockers who now
work solely on the car ferry must be made. In addition,
the Company can no longer continue to top up the Social
Welfare entitlements of those laid off following the
loss of the contract.
At the Court hearing it was made clear by the Union that its
attitude to the Company proposals was influenced by the problems
arising for its surplus members joining permanent lay-off and on
the proposed rate for new starters.
The number of people involved is 6.
It was also stated that some dockers might avail of a retirement
package, if that was available, thereby eliminating or reducing
the major obstacle to reaching agreement on the lay-off of the 6
Having considered all the information available the Court makes
the following recommendation:-
(1) The Union accept the Company proposals on the manning of the
(2) In this exceptional situation discussions commence
immediately to agree a retirement package for dockers. If a
package cannot be agreed then either party is free to request
the Court to make a recommendation.
(3) As the proposed new rate of pay only applies to new
recruits and there is not going to be any recruitment for
sometime the Court recommends that this issue is left over
until there is recruitment.
(4) The Company should continue to pay the topping-up allowance
until the new vessel arrives or at latest until 1st June,
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th January, 1995 Finbarr Flood
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to
Mr. Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.