INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGrath
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. (A) Payment of shift rate for Bank Holidays. (B) Payment of overtime rates on the cumulative shift rates.
2. The Company is located in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare and is involved in the manufacture of electrical switchgear. The Company's sales are mainly in the Irish market. It employs 49 workers, of which 39 shop floor employees are members of the Union. There are 12 workers on a rotating double-shift who are directly affected by both claims. Since 1994, the Company has been jointly owned by Pauwells Trafo and ESB International.
Shift work commenced in the Company in October, 1995. The Union's claim is that the Company does not pay the shift rate for Bank Holidays. At a meeting in June, 1996, the Company offered to pay the consolidated rate for all future Bank Holidays. The Union wanted payment to be retrospective to October, 1995. At a further meeting, the Company increased its offer to include the June 1996 Bank Holiday. At this meeting, the issue of overtime payment at the consolidated rate also arose. The Company rejected the Union's claim for the overtime payment and withdrew its offer of payment of Bank Holidays at the consolidated rate from June onwards.
At a conciliation conference on 1st October, 1996 the Company reinstated its offer regarding Bank Holiday payment, on condition that the Union withdrew its claim for payment of overtime at the consolidated rates. The Union rejected the offer. The Company discontinued the use of shift workers for overtime in June, 1996.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 14th December, 1996, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 15th January, 1997.
3. 1. The Company's failure to pay the consolidated rate for Bank Holidays is in breach of the Holiday Employees Act, 1973/1991. The Union is not aware of anywhere else in the industry that does not pay shift rates on Bank Holidays. Payment should be retrospective to October, 1995.
2. Many companies pay the consolidated rate for overtime (the Union supplied a list of companies to the Court). The Company is profitable and is shortly to move to a bigger factory because of growth in business.
4. 1. The Company pays a shift rate of 25%. The standard rate for rotating 2-shift cycle is generally between 16% and 20%. Both of the Union's claims are cost-increasing and would be prohibited under the national agreements. The Company is not in breach of the Holiday Employees Act, 1973/1991 by not paying shift rates on Bank Holidays.
2. If the Company is to remain competitive it needs to reduce costs, not increase them. It has agreed to pay the shift rate for Bank Holidays but cannot also pay the rate for overtime. For this reason, the Company had to stop overtime for shift workers in June, 1996. The Company would like to use overtime but it must be at the right price.
The Court has considered all of the issues raised by the parties in their oral and written submissions and recommends as follows:-
1.Payment of shift rate for Public Holidays
That the Company pay the consolidated rate for Public Holidays with effect from the June holiday 1996.
2.Payment of overtime rate on consolidated shift rate
That overtime rates be paid on the consolidated shift rate with effect from 1st April, 1997.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th January, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.