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 Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Claim for Short-time Working-payment of 3 waiting Days.
2. The Company which was established in 1973 is engaged in the production of carburettors for two-stroke engines for the export market. It employs 197 workers at its location in Tralee, County Kerry.
The dispute before the Court concerns the Union's claim for the payment of 3 waiting days for workers who are placed on short-time working. During lay-off the workers receive social welfare entitlements in accordance with statutory regulations which require 3 waiting days.
Local level discussions failed to resolve the matter and the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 24th of June, 1997. As agreement could not be reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 28th of July, 1997 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in Tralee on the 23rd of October, 1997.
3. 1. The workers concerned suffer considerable financial hardship when placed on short-time. They are left without wages and receive no Social Welfare payment for the first 3 days.
2. It is the Union's understanding that many other companies in the region compensate their employees for the 3 waiting days. In the circumstances it is inequitable for the workers concerned to suffer this additional loss given the low rate of benefit and given that it is usually the same group of workers who are placed on short-time.
4. 1. The Company contends that the introduction of short-time working was outside its control and was necessitated by falling demand for its product and the volatile market circumstances in general. It is unreasonable in the circumstances to expect the Company to compensate employees for the first three waiting days.
2. There have been a number of short-time situations in the company in recent years for which no compensation was paid. Custom and practice within the Company clearly reflects the social welfare regulations and the Company is not prepared to deviate from established practice in this regard.
3. In the past the Labour Court has not recommended concession of claims in similar circumstances.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties does not recommend concession of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th November, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.