INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ACCO IRELAND LIMITED
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Redundancy compensation.
2. The Company is the Irish branch of International Business Controls B.V. and produces a broad range of office supplies. There are approximately 125 workers at its Dublin plant in Clonshaugh Industrial Estate. 93 workers are represented by the Union and 20 of these are involved in the dispute.
On 23rd April, 1996, the Company announced a major reorganisation and rationalisation of its Irish operation. The 2 key areas were:
(a) transfer of all "bindery" production from Clonshaugh to its factory at Aylesbury UK.
(b) transfer of all warehousing distribution, sales administration etc. from the ACCO Rexel Ltd. premises at Castleknock to Clonshaugh.
The result of the rationalisation was that 30 workers were to be made redundant, including the 20 SIPTU members. The terms of the redundancy offer was as follows:
3.5 weeks per year of service plus statutory entitlements plus payment in lieu of notice plus £100 per year of service.
The offer was rejected by the members by way of secret ballot.
The parties had met on a number of occasions and also sought the help of the Labour Relations Commission at 3 conciliation conferences, the final one on 27th August, 1996. As the parties did not reach agreement the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 17th September, 1996, in accordance with Section 26(1), Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 19th September, 1996.
3. 1. The Company is closing the bindery department as a cost saving measure, not because it is losing money. The Company is profit-making and wants to increase its profits by exporting jobs to England. The Company has not denied this.
2. The Company will be making major financial gains by the re-structuring, particularly in the changes to the canteen operation. It will also dramatically reduce its overhead costs in Dublin by transferring from Castleknock to Clonshaugh. Four years ago, following re-organisation, the Company offered the same redundancy terms as the present offer. The re-organisation then was due to a loss of business. On this occasion the Company will increase its profits and it can afford to increase the redundancy terms.
4. 1. In general, settlement terms in the industry have reduced compared to the redundancy package which the Company applied 4 years ago. The terms being offered on this occasion are generous. The £100 per year of service will effectively increase the 3.5 weeks per year of service to 3.75 per year. The main reason for moving the bindery department to England is to protect the declining business.
The Court considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
The Court recommends in the circumstances of this case that the proposals in the Labour Relations Commission's letter of 28th August, 1996 be modified as follows:
The £100 per year of service in the Redundancy Package to be increased to £150 per year of service.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th September, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.