INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DELPHI PACKARD ELECTRIC IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
1. Various outstanding issues arising from plant closure.
2. The dispute concerns various issues including severance pay, service calculation, pension scheme funding, payment of outstanding PCW and PESP increases, payment for 4 days deferred holidays, utilisation of the plant, provision of training grants, free financial and job placement information and a claim for £1,000 payment to cover other outstanding claims.
A conciliation conference was held under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on 23rd May, 1996, at which agreement was not reached. It was agreed to refer the dispute to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing was held on 29th May, 1996.
3. 1. The Unions' claims are as follows:-
(i) 10 weeks' pay at Grade A per year of service, exclusive of statutory entitlements,
(ii) Funding for an early retirement option at 55 years of age,
(iii) 3% under Clause 3 of PESP,
(iv) 2.5% from 1/3/95 and 2.5% from 1/3/96 of PCW,
(v) Payment for 4 days annual leave deferred from 1994 and 1995,
(vi) Plant to be made available as facility for Community Employment opportunities (currently under discussion with IDA and General Motors),
(vii) Provision of training grants to fund upskilling programme,
(viii) Free financial and job placement information for 12 months,
(ix) £1,000 to be paid to all employees to cover a number of deferred individual and collective claims.
2. The terms offered by the Company are inadequate in comparison to those agreed by other private sector employers. The fact that the redundancies are compulsory, many workers have substantial service, the age profile of the workforce, the questionable potential for future employment and the workers' many concessions to enable the Company to remain viable, should be recognised by the provision of an appropriate redundancy package.
4. 1. The total cost of the redundancy package amounts to approximately £11 million.
The Company was allocated a fixed budget to effect the wind-up of the plant and cannot afford to consider any claim which would raise the cost of the overall redundancy package. Management outlined from the beginning that the package was non-negotiable.
2. The Company recognises the contribution made by the employees over the years, but considerable losses and lack of competitiveness has forced the closure of the plant. Management's offer of 5 weeks' pay per year of service, inclusive of statutory entitlements, compares very favourably with terms offered by employers in a similar position to the Company.
The Court has considered the submissions from the parties with respect to the various claims made by the Unions arising from the decision by the Company to close its Tallaght plant and sets out below its recommendations:-
(1) Redundancy Pay :- The Court recommends that the Company’s proposals of 5 weeks’ pay per year of service be accepted, subject to it being amended to read “actual pay” and that it exclude statutory payments due.
(2) P.C.W. :- The Court recommends that for the purpose of calculating redundancy payments Phases 1 and 2 of PCW, due on 1/3/95 and 1/3/96 respectively, be included.
(3) P.E.S.P. :- The Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
(4) Banked hours :- The Court notes the Company’s agreement to pay all banked hours.
(5) Holidays due :- The Court recommends that the Company pay the four days
(6) Ex-gratia -£1000 claimed :- The Court does not recommend concession of this claim.
(7) Funding for early retirement option :- The Court notes that the Union are pursuing this item with the Trustees of the Pension Fund and considers this is the correct approach.
(8) Calculating Service :- The Court has given considerable thought to the problems outlined by the Union. The Court has already supported the principle of L.I.F.O in dealing with redundancy and re-affirms this view. It does however recognise, in the circumstances of close-down, strict adherence to this principle would not be feasible. The Court recommends that for the purpose of reckoning service the termination date for employees now in work should not be earlier than 7th July, 1996. This is to take account of employees on twilight shift, etc, who may finish before that date. The Court recognises that this can not apply to the statutory element of the payments.
(9) The Union also raised matters of training grants and availability of the plant.The Court understands these matters are being examined in another forum and accordingly does not make any recommendation.
(10) The Court would urge the Company to give every assistance to employees in the area of financial advice and job placement.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th June, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.