INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
PENN RACQUET SPORTS
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Performance of electrical duties for which employees are neither trained nor paid.
2. The claim is on behalf of 5 maintenance fitters who have performed minor emergency and routine electrical duties during the course of their employment. In 1993 they sought an increase in pay for these electrical duties, in addition to training, as they claimed that the work was dangerous and should only be carried out by qualified electricians. The Company was willing to finance a Dublin Institute of Technology multiskilling programme, but was not prepared to pay the 14% increase sought by the Union, claiming that the work concerned was basic electrical work and had been carried out since the plant opened in 1974.
The dispute was the subject of conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on 18th May, 1994, 20th October, 1994 and 6th April, 1995. As no agreement was reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 4th April, 1996 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in Mullingar on 14th May, 1996.
3. 1. It is normal practice in industry that employees are compensated for additional responsibility and skill, over and above that for which they are employed.
2. The Company has benefitted greatly from the fitters' electrical skills and has also saved substantial amounts on overtime payments to the electrician.
3. Management's offer with regard to the proposed multiskilling programme does not compare with that of other companies and a far more generous remuneration package should have been offered to the workers.
4. 1. The fitters have been performing minor electrical duties since 1974, which have accordingly become part of their terms and conditions of employment by custom and practice.
2. The electrical duties are of a very minor nature and do not pose any health or safety risks to the workers concerned, who have each received adequate instruction on the performance of such duties.
3. The Company operates in a very competitive environment and cannot afford to concede the claim, which is clearly cost increasing and therefore contrary to the terms of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work.
On the evidence submitted, the Court has concluded that there are no grounds for recommending concession of the claim as made.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th June, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.