INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DISPLAY CONTRACTS LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH NATIONAL PAINTERS & DECORATORS TRADES UNION
UNION OF CONSTRUCTION, ALLIED TRADES AND TECHNICIANS
BUILDING AND ALLIED TRADES UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Approval of £7.39 increase to basic pay.
2. The Company is involved in the design and construction of exhibitions for industry. There are 17 craftworkers and general operatives involved in the dispute.
The claim concerns the application of LCR15588 from July, 1997, which recommended payment of an increase of £7.39 per week to workers with effect from September, 1997. The parties involved in LCR15588 were the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU). LCR15588 was itself connected to LCR13340 from July, 1991, which awarded an increase of £43.70 per week to craftworkers and general operatives, phased over 3 years.
The Company's view is that it was not party to the agreement between the CIF and ICTU and, therefore, LCR15588 did not apply to it. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place on the 7th of May, 1998. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 2nd of June, 1998, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 27th of July, 1998.
3. 1. Following a meeting with employers in the display and exhibition industry to discuss implementation of LCR15588, a conciliation conference took place on the 30th of March, 1998. During discussions, it was clearly indicated that employers in the display industry always followed pay guidelines in the construction industry. As such, the £7.39 pay award of LCR15588 should apply to the workers concerned.
2. The Company's main objection to paying the allowances - that it is already paying a £16.00 per week allowance - is a separate issue. The £16.00 allowance was agreed to almost 20 years ago to cover anti-social working hours. The Company honoured the terms of LCR13340 but has refused to implement LCR15588.
4. 1. The Company has never been a member of the CIF and is not involved in the construction industry within the acknowledged meaning of that term. Negotiations between the CIF and ICTU regarding the £7.39 increase would apply only to workers in receipt of basic pay rates. Rates of pay for craftworkers at the Company include allowances for travelling time, meals, tool money and unsocial hours. These workers are clearly excluded from the terms of LCR15588. The workers also receive a Christmas and summer bonus which is, on average, £250 per employee.
2. No other company in the industry has been targeted by the Union in respect of the claim. The Company is the biggest employer in the industry. If it had to pay the £7.39 allowance, it would put it in a disadvantage with other employers. The Company has always complied with the terms of the national wage agreements but believes that the present claim is outside the terms of Partnership 2000.
The Court notes that the Company involved in this dispute was not party to the agreement, the terms of which the Unions seek to have applied to the claimants. The claim is based on a precedent arising from implementation of a previous increase.
The terms on which the claimed sum should be applied are clear and unambiguous as to entitlement. They specifically refer to bonus payments.
However, in all the circumstances of the case, the Court has concluded that an equitable way of dealing with the problem is for the parties to meet and examine the present bonus payment with a view to offsetting the payment of the weekly amount claimed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5th August, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.