INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
KILTOGHERT CO-OPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL AND DAIRY SOCIETY LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Lump sum payment.
2. The claim is for payment of a lump sum of £900 net per annum for each of 6 tanker drivers (4 full-time and 2 relief drivers) for additional duties, following the introduction of new systems at the milk processing plant at Shannonside, Co. Roscommon. The Union is basing its claim on the fact that drivers at another Co-op, North Connacht Farmers (NCF) were paid the £900 for similar additional duties. The Union lodged its claim in October, 1995.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and two conciliation conferences took place. At the second conference, the Society offered a maximum of 25% of the £900. The Union rejected the offer and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 5th December, 1996, in accordance with Section 26(1), of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 13th May, 1997, in Longford.
3. 1. There is little or no difference between the work done by the drivers employed by the Society and drivers working in NCF. In effect, each driver is responsible for hauling approximately 1.2 million gallons per annum to Shannonside processing plant. At Shannonside, each driver has to carry out the same functions, regardless of which co-operative they are attached to.
2. NCF management acknowledged the co-operation of its drivers and readily agreed to pay the £900 net as sought. The drivers in the Society have been equally co-operative and should be rewarded accordingly. The changes introduced by Shannonside have resulted in substantial labour-related savings (a description of the additional duties was supplied to the Court).
4. 1. The duties of the drivers concerned have changed only slightly as a result of the rationalisation at Shannonside. Drivers in the Society collect approximately 800,000 gallons per annum whereas drivers in NCF collect between 1.4 million and 1.8 million gallons. The Society is small compared to NCF. It has an annual turnover of £15.5 million compared to NCF's turnover of £170 million and pre-tax profits are only £70,000. The cost of collection for the Society is already higher than that at NCF. The effective loss on milk collection is in excess of 4 pence per gallon.
2. The Society is in a highly competitive business. If it has to pay lump sums the size of the present claim for every small change in duties, it will put the Society in an uncompetitive position.
The Court has considered the submissions from the parties and, in the circumstances outlined, recommends that the Co-operative increase its offer to £500 net per annum and be implemented for the year 1996.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5th June, 1997______________________
C O'N/U.S.Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.