INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY MSS)
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Car parking facilities.
2. The Reprocentre Group is primarily involved in print and is currently located in Mark Street and Lombard Street in Dublin city centre. Originally the organisation was called Reprocentre Limited and in the late 1980s two companies were set up, Computing Workshop and Printplant Ireland Limited, both based in Lombard Street. There were parking areas in both locations. In November, 1988, Printplant Ireland Limited moved to a new premises in Townsend Street. Printplant had a car park with 17 reserved spaced for named personnel. In March, 1992, Printplant was involved in a re-organisation which resulted in some of the named personnel transferring to Reprocentre. This resulted in a number of reserved car parking spaces being free and staff could use the spaces on a "first-come" basis. In 1996, the Company disposed of the Printplant premises and, as a result, the free car park spaces were no longer available.
The Union's claim, on behalf of three workers, is that it had become custom and practice over the years for the Company to provide parking for the three workers, who now have to pay for their own parking space. The Union is seeking either compensation or alternative parking space paid by the Company.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and conciliation conferences took place on the 13th December, 1996 and the 9th May, 1997. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 27th May, 1997, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 11th July, 1997.
3. 1. The Company disposed of the Townsend Street premises (including the car park) without consulting the staff or the Union. Employees with Company cars or private cars on a mileage scheme can claim parking expenses. The three workers concerned are obliged to find alternative parking at their own expense. Apart from the inconvenience, the cost involved equals £1,200 per annum. This will effectively cancel out any pay increases under Partnership 2000 for a number of years. The workers concerned should be compensated or provided with alternative car parking facilities.
4. 1. After the Printplant re-organisation in March, 1992 some staff members took advantage of the fact that a number of car parking spaces were available. The Company choose not to make an issue of the situation, but there was no formal agreement regarding the spaces. At no time were the workers concerned told that they were entitled to the car parking spaces. The Union has not been able to show any evidence that they were entitled. The Company cannot be held responsible for providing parking for the three workers. Many other employees have to make their own parking arrangements and, if the Company was to concede to the present claim, these employees could also claim compensation.
The Court considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
The Court does not find that the claimants had a claim to a designated parking space and, therefore, does not recommend compensation in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1st August, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.