INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MB (IRELAND) LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
2. M.B. (Ireland) Ltd which is part of the Hasbro International Group is engaged in the manufacture of toys and games. It employes 346 permanent workers and a further 150 temporary workers at peak production at its location in Waterford.
The dispute before the Court concerns the Company's proposed introduction of a waste recycling programme, which will involve the use of an outside contractor to recycle the Company's waste directly from site. This will result in the decommissioning of the Company's waste incinerator within a 2 year period and the displacement of the incinerator operator. The worker concerned has been employed by the Company as an incinerator operatior since 1977.
Local level discussion took place following which the Company put forward the following options for consideration by the worker:-
(1) Re-deploy the worker in a similar grade job in the production area.
(2) Re-deploy the worker in a lower grade job and red-circle his pay.
(3) A redundancy package of 4 week's pay per year of service inclusive of statutory entitlements.
The Union rejected the Company's proposal and the matter was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences took place on 17th August, 1995 and 14th March, 1996. As agreement could not be reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 14th April, 1996 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on 9th May, 1996.
3. 1. The Union rejects the Company's argument that the introduction of an outside contractor would be more efficient and cost effective.
2. The worker has served the Company loyally and conscientiously for 19 years, during which time he has received numerous awards for good attendance. His job involves considerable detail (details supplied) and his expertise is crucial to its operation. The Union is seeking that the worker be retained in his present employment until he retires in approximately 6 years time and argues that it would be more cost effective for the Company to do so.
4. 1. It is management's prerogative to determine operational methods, particularly in a case such as this where there is an environmental issue. SIPTU has accepted the Company's policy on the environment but regrettably has not followed through on the implications.
2. It is clearly within the scope of the Company/Union agreement to introduce change such as this. The Company has diligently discussed and negotiated on this issue. Its reward, to date, has been a time span of 19 months in getting the matter to a Labour Court hearing.
3. A number of options have been tabled by the Company, all of which are 'up to the mark' in terms of good industrial relations practice. SIPTU raised various concerns, e.g. in relation to the use of subcontractors and the Company has addressed those.
4. It is unacceptable, that any employee should have a veto in the circumstances of this case.
Having considered the submissions the Court recommends that the Company's offer to redeploy the claimant to a Material Handling position with no loss of wages be accepted. Conscious of the seniority of the claimant the Court urges the Company to give every support and training to help him re-locate and give priority to establishing as far as possible a permanent location.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th June, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.