INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
PRATT & WHITNEY AVIATION INTERNATIONAL (PWAI)
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Introduction of "Achieving Competitive Excellence" (ACE) programme.
2. The Company currently employs 120 people of which 74 are represented by the Union. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pratt and Whitney, the U.S. jet engine manufacturer, and is involved in the business of re-manufacturing jet engine cases for the aircraft industry world-wide.
The Union is in dispute with the Company over a decision to introduce a programme of "Achieving Competitive Excellence" (ACE) which seeks to improve quality standards. The programme has 6 stages, stage 1 of which was implemented in November, 1997. The Union is seeking a 6% increase before it will agree to further changes.
The Company claims that ongoing change was part and parcel of the industry within which it operates and that quality and standards were critical to its operations. It claims that the ACE programme was simply a standard feature of ongoing change and rejected the Union's claim. It states that the Union is in breach of the Partnership 2000 Agreement and was also in breach of the Company/Union agreement.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 27th of January, 1998 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 2nd of February, 1998 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 23rd of March, 1998.
3. 1. The Company has failed to fully consult with the Union regarding work changes within the Company.
2. While the Union supports the Company's plan to become a" World Class Organisation," it must insist that the Company comply with the spirit of Partnership 2000.
3. The Union is seeking a partnership approach to any negotiations with the Company, including a profit/gain share agreement.
4. Chapter 9 of Partnership 2000 sets out the basis for discussion in relation to "Competitive Enterprises" and that such discussions be conducted in a non-adversarial manner and be governed by Clause 6 of the agreement on pay.
4. 1. Ongoing change is part and parcel of the aircraft industry. If it does not remain competitive the Company will lose out to its competitors.
2. The Company has always exercised a partnership approach towards its employees. Meetings are held on a regular basis between the Union Committee and Management where the needs of both sides are discussed.
3. The survival of the Company has been secured by programmes of continuous improvement since its formation in 1989. The ACE programme has been an integral part of the Company's planning.
4. The pay claim submitted by the Union is in breach of the Company/Union agreement and also Partnership 2000.
Having examined all the elements in this dispute the Court has concluded that concession of the claims as made would be contrary to the Company/Union agreement and Partnership 2000.
The Court accordingly does not find in favour of the Union claim as made.
The Court urges both Company and Union to develop more transparent internal communications within the concept and spirit of Partnership as contained in Partnership 2000 which will continuously agree and monitor a programme for implementing A.C.E.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd April, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.