INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Dispute concerning upgrading.
2. The Company is located at Bailieboro, Co. Cavan and manufactures shower enclosures. It employs approximately 200 workers. The dispute relates to the Union's claim for the upgrading of 13 workers who were previously employed by Flair Plastics Limited a company which produced contract formings. This company was a wholly owned subsidiary of Midland International Holdings Ltd. as is the present company Flair International. In 1994 Flair Plastics ceased trading. The workers concerned were absorbed into Flair International and retained continuity of employment, terms and conditions and seniority of service. The Union's claims are as follows:
(1) 3 Moulders - These workers were upgraded from Grade C to D in 1994 following job evaluation. The Union claims that the upgrading should apply retrospectively to 1992.
- (2) 7 Moulders - They were graded at C in the old Company. The Union claims that they should be graded at D retrospective to 1992.
(3) 3 Spindlers - They were graded at A, and occasionally do higher grade work for which they receive Grade B rate. The Union maintains that they should be upgraded to B.
3. 1. The Union's claim for grading was lodged in 1991. The 3 moulders are entitled to retrospection and the Union estimates the loss as being £3,000. It was agreed by the Union and Management that the Job Evaluation would decide the grade of Vacuum Formers and subsequently it was decided that the posts should be upgraded from C to D. 3 Moulders were upgraded and the other 7 Moulders are entitled to this grade also. The 3 Spindlers should be graded at Grade B.
2. The wages and conditions of employment, by agreement, were similar in both Flair International and Flair Plastics Limited. The Company/Union agreement and custom and practice has always been that once a worker is upgraded to a higher grade, and is reverted back to lower grade work by the Company, that worker holds the higher grade on a red circle basis.
3, When the Union's claim was lodged the workers operated the vacuum former, as requested by the Company, under protest. However when 7 workers were transferred back to Flair International the Company refused to honour the new grade applicable to the job of vacuum former. Management also refused to pay the retrospection.
1. The 3 Moulders upgraded from C to D had a significant change in their job descriptions and were totally responsible for mould changing and maintenance. While there is a well established Job Evaluation Scheme, there is no formal agreement on the element of retrospection on any post upgraded. The Company offered retrospection to March 1994.
2. The 7 Moulders operated at various occupations in the machine/assembly areas. These jobs normally attracted the grades of A or B. However the workers have maintained the higher Grade C. Management rejects the Union's claim that there is an outstanding regrading claim (C to D) for these 7 workers. The workers already enjoy a higher rate of pay (Grade C) considering the existing duties they perform. Nevertheless the Company is prepared to make some goodwill gesture to them.
3. The Company is agreeable to the upgrading of the 3 Spindlers to Grade B. It is prepared to pay retrospection to the commencement of their employment with Flair International in 1994.
4, The cost of concession of the Union's claim is substantial. The Company operates in a very competitive market and concession of the claims would have severe financial repercussions.
The Court notes that there is agreement between the parties on the Spindlers' claim.
On the claim for upgrading for the 7 transferred Moulders and the claim for Retrospection for the 3 upgraded Moulders, the Court cannot find justification for conceding either claim.
The Court, however, conscious of the Company offer to make a goodwill gesture to the 7 Moulders seeking upgrading and the 3 moulders seeking retrospection, recommends that the Company pay a lump sum of £1,000 to each of the individuals involved, in full and final settlement of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th July, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.