INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
PORT OF CORK COMPANY
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Dispute concerning changes in manning and work practices.
2. In June, 1996, the parties commenced discussions on the Company's proposals to implement significant cost-saving changes in the manning and working agreement (details supplied to the Court). While agreement was reached on a number of issues, the parties could not agree the following: traveltime, overtime, operations, and berthing masters. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and conciliation conferences were held in November, 1996 and February 1997. Proposals which emerged offering workers grade amalgamation and once-off payments were rejected by the union. No agreement was possible and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 11th June, 1997. A Court hearing was held in Cork, on the 27th August, 1997.
3. 1. Traveltime:
The Company's proposals to eliminate the payment would dilute workers' conditions to an extent that they would not be able to sustain their financial commitments. The offer of a reduced mileage payment of 25p is insufficient and unacceptable.
The Company's proposal would worsen employees' conditions. They are the workers who provide maximum flexibility at all times whether it be for early morning operations or working through the night.
The Company's proposal requires that operators of mobile equipment would interchange. This poses a major problem for the Union because vacancies for positions (e.g. crane drivers) are advertised and filled under the heading of seniority. It would create conditions which would not be conducive to good industrial relations. The Union would be prepared to examine the second part of the clause if a detailed proposal is produced. To withdraw the relief position at the time indicated by the Company could be dangerous and against the spirit of how the operations should perform.
4. Berthing Masters:
The proposal to reduce the number of Berthing Masters from 6 to 4 would seriously dilute promotional opportunities for workers. The Union also questions the wisdom in reducing the numbers of this highly responsible post as it relates to the safety aspect of the work. With the aim of the Company being to increase business in future an increase in the number of Berthing Masters would be more logical.
4. 1. Traveltime:
All areas, locations, and plant in or around Cork Harbour under the direct control of the Port Company where changing, washing and canteen facilities are provided should be designated a work location. The Company proposes to reduce the current rate of 55.05p per mile to 25p per mile in respect of Ringaskiddy for work starting before normal start time of 8.00 a.m. and finishing after normal finish time 4.30 p.m. (3.30 p.m. Friday). This reduced payment per mile also to apply to the tug "Gerry O'Sullivan" if she is based in the lower harbour outside of normal start/finish times. This payment will be made in respect of existing workers only and will not apply to new recruits.
The Company proposes to eliminate the separate payment for "clamp" time. Where operations are expected to finish on or before midnight normal overtime provisions will apply. Where crane operations are expected to finish on or before midnight normal overtime provisions will apply. Where crane operations are expected to continue beyond midnight drivers will be sent home no later than 3.30 p.m. to return at 10.00 p.m. In addition to a day's pay, payment for work after 10.00 p.m. will be at normal overtime rates with a minimum of 8 pay hours. In relation to weekend overtime, normal overtime rates will apply from the commencement of operations with a minimum payment of 8 hours on Saturday, and 10 hours on Sunday. Where there is less than 3 hours break between activities, services will be retained, otherwise a second minimum payment will apply from the commencement of operations on the second ship.
Where workers have been trained and have the necessary skills there should be interchangeability between crane drivers and straddle carrier drivers. This would utilise available skills to the best advantage.
4. Berthing Masters:
The Company proposal of moving from 6 to 4 full-time Berthing Masters will involve having 1 Berthing Master continuously on duty on a four-shift rota averaging a forty-two hour week. The Berthing Master will no longer assist in mooring or un-mooring vessels. The alteration to the present system will result in a change in the hours worked and consequently in the earnings.
The present system whereby Berthing Masters are paid mileage for the use of cars would also be eliminated as it would be feasible to provide a van for transport throughout the Port.
The Company proposes to red circle existing earnings for remaining Berthing Masters. The new earnings would apply to future appointees.
The Court having considered the information supplied by the parties recommends that for acceptance by the Union, of the company proposals, the Company offer should be varied in the following areas:
1.Loss of earnings for all items
1 and3/4years' compensation to be paid.
2.Lead in Payment
A lead in payment of £750 to be paid to each employee on acceptance of the proposals.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th September, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.