INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Walsh
1. Pension scheme.
2. The Union is in dispute with the Company over the provision of a suitable pension scheme for outdoor staff. It claims that the scheme proposed by the Company is inadequate and seeks the implementation of the pension scheme which currently operates for the clerical/managerial grades within the Company. Clause 3 of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (PCW) states that "Unions were not precluded from making claims for the introduction of pensions, where none existed".
The Company claims that it offered the Union a defined contribution pension scheme but this was rejected by the Union. It subsequently offered the outdoor staff a defined benefit scheme which currently operates for a small number of manual staff. However, this scheme was also rejected by the Union. The Union is seeking parity of esteem for its members with the clerical/managerial grades for pension purposes.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences were held on the 1st October, 1996 and 11th December, 1996 but no agreement was reached. 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 10th March, 1997.
3. 1. The Union is seeking that its members be included in the pension scheme which currently operates for the clerical/managerial grades, and is a non-integrated scheme with better "Death in Service Benefits".
2. The Company has acknowledged the considerable contribution outdoor staff have made to the success of its operations.
3. There should be no difference between employees of the same Company when dealing with the provision of pensions.
4. The members concerned in this claim are the backbone of the Company who work in all weather conditions throughout the year.
4. 1. The defined benefit pension scheme as offered to the outdoor staff is the best that the Company can offer and is the general standard for the industry.
2. The cost implications of conceding this claim is prohibitive and would have serious financial knock-on effects for the Company.
3. The Company is operating in a very competitive market. It must keep costs down or lose market share.
4. The staff in the Company enjoy excellent conditions of employment compared to similar type operations.
5. The Company experienced very difficult trading conditions in 1996 and which have continued into 1997. It cannot afford any further cost increases.
The Court having considered all the information supplied by the parties recommends that the Employees accept at this time the scheme proposed by the Company.
They can, in the future, raise the issue of parity with other groups, if circumstances warrant.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th April, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.