INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Restoration of commission payments.
2. 1. The Company has operated in Ireland since 1954. It manufactures a wide range of snack foods for the Irish market including its brand leader - Tayto Crisps.
2. In 1994, the Company decided to re-organise its sales force to make it more efficient. The Company operates a van sales team which both delivers and sells to major retail outlets throughout the country. Prior to September, 1994 the Company operated three vans which supplied the major retail outlets in the greater Dublin area and also to part of Leinster. As a result of the re-organisation this increased to four with the changes involving all the salesmen in the Leinster area.
3. The Company was committed to no loss of earnings for a six month period during the changeover. Furthermore, it paid various sums to the employees concerned on agreement for the re-organisation. All the sales representatives increased their earnings with the exception of one salesman.
4. The Union has submitted a claim on behalf of the worker for a restoration of commission earnings prior to the re-organisation. It claims that the route changes were agreed to on the basis that no individual would suffer any financial loss.
5. The Company rejects the Union's claim and states that commission earnings on any particular route are not sacrosanct. It is possible for commission earnings to vary from route to route.
6. As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 4th May, 1996. No agreement was reached and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 4th October, 1996.
3. 1. The re-organisation of routes was agreed on the basis that no driver would suffer a financial loss.
2. The driver concerned has suffered a loss of commission earnings as a result of the re-organisation.
3. The worker is opposed to the on-going loss of earnings when all his colleagues in the Dublin area have gained financially.
4 The Company projected a financial gain for the worker following the re-organisation
but this has not materialised.
4. 1. The Company competes in a very competitive and changing market. It must operate to the highest commercial standards in order to remain competitive.
2. Commission earnings will vary from route to route with the result that some drivers will earn more than others.
3. The worker's gross weekly earnings have increased substantially since 1991.
4. The Company has offered to buy out the worker's loss of earnings over a two year period for £1,750 but this was rejected.
The Court finds that with the introduction of the new arrangements there was an expectation that given the co-operation of the drivers that earnings would be at least in line with earnings on the old route by September, 1996.
The Court has considered all of the views expressed by the parties in their oral and written submissions and recommends that the Company pay to the claimant a sum equivalent to twice the actual loss of commission.
The Company to review the route and its potential in consultation with the claimant and his representatives with a view to maximising his earnings whilst at the same time ensuring that his working day is not increased.
Following implementation of the changes necessary to achieve the above the situation to be monitored and reviewed after a period of 12 months.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th October, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.