INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
COSMO TEN LIMITED
- AND -
MARINE PORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Changes to conditions of employment.
2. The dispute concerns one worker who has been employed by the Company since January, 1984, in the capacity of sales representative. The Company is involved in the sale and distribution of cosmetic products. The Union claims that the employer unilaterally changed the worker's conditions of employment by imposing a new wage structure, in February, 1994. Under the new system, the worker would have to pay her own expenses, on the basis that her commission would increase from 1.25% of sales in excess of £100,000 to 10% of sales in excess of £100,000. The dispute was to be the subject of a Rights Commissioner's investigation, at which the employer attended but at which the worker could not attend due to work commitments.
A re-scheduled investigation was arranged at which neither party attended, the Company on the grounds that the matter had already been dealt with, and the Union because the Company would not be attending. The Union referred the matter to the Labour Court, on the 2nd of April, 1997, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court carried out its investigation, in Drogheda, on the 12th of June, 1997. The Company declined to attend the Court hearing, but stated its position in relation to the dispute by letter to the Court dated the 3rd of June, 1997.
3. 1. The changes imposed by the Company had the effect of dramatically reducing the worker's income (details supplied to the Court). The worker stated clearly her objections to the changes in her conditions, by letter dated the 11th of February, 1994.
2. The worker is in the unreasonable position of having to pay her own expenses. Up to the end of May 1997, expenses due to her amount to approximately £8,500, plus other normal out of pocket subsistence allowances amounting to a further £3,000 approximately (details supplied to the Court).
The Employer did not attend the Court hearing but did write a letter to the Court.
From the information supplied to the Court by the Union it would appear that the claimant's contract of employment and terms and conditions were unilaterally changed in February, 1994 by the Employer. It is clear that the claimant and her Union indicated their objections in writing at the time.
Having considered the information before it, the Court recommends that the Employer repay any monies outstanding to the claimant since February 1994 and enter into discussions if he wishes to review her contract.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th of June, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.