INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TEGRAL BUILDING PRODUCTS LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Manning levels on "paint line take off".
2. The Company manufactures fibre cement building products, principally roof slates and corrugated sheeting, employing approximately 240 workers. Arising from increased investment and improved technology, the Company is seeking to decrease by 3 the manning-level at the take off station on each of its two paint lines. The Company proposes redeploying the 6 workers concerned within the plant. An Irish Productivity Centre study sustained the Company's position in relation to the new manning levels. The Union was opposed to what it sees as the effective loss of 6 jobs in the plant, but indicated that it would re-consider its position in the light of a compensation package for both the 6 being re-deployed and those remaining on the paint line. No decision has been made on where the 6 will be redeployed to but a possible loss of earnings would arise should they be re-deployed to a non-shift area.
The matter was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission, at which proposals on compensation were discussed, the status of which were subsequently disputed by the parties. Agreement was not reached at conciliation and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court, on the 9th of August, 1996, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court carried out its investigation on the 2nd of October, 1996.
3. 1. The redeployments proposed by the Company are reasonable, involve no reduction in numbers employed in the plant and any loss of earnings, if these arise, will be dealt with in the agreed manner.
2. The changes are part of the ongoing process of re-equipping and modernisation of the plant in the face of intense cost pressures both from competitors outside the ETEX Group (the Company's parent multi-national) and other plants within the Group.
3. The Irish Productivity Centre report represents a fair and independent analysis of the actual work situation at the Paint Line take off stations and is in accordance with the manning-levels proposed by the Company.
4. 1. The proposed changes will result in the real loss of 6 jobs which is unacceptable.
2. The proposals for compensation discussed at conciliation were rejected by the workers on the grounds that (1) they involve the loss of 6 jobs, (2) it was not clear to whom the compensation offer would apply and (3) they included no offer of an increase on basic pay or bonus.
3. The Company is very profitable in a market that it almost controls. There are no Irish manufacturing competitors in the roof slate market.
The Court, having considered all the information before it, does not find that the Company proposals on redeployment are unreasonable given the background of a redeployment culture in the Company.
However, the Court recommends that on implementation of these proposals the following payments should be made by the Company:
(1) The 6 Employees being displaced to each be paid a £350 lump sum. Loss of earnings to be assessed at end of 12 months and compensation to be paid at 26% of the loss, in line with the agreed formula;
(2) The 18 other Employees involved to each be paid a lump sum of £500.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st October, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.