INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
FAULKNER PACKAGING LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Payment of differential.
2. The dispute before the Court concerns the Union's claim on behalf of a worker for payment of a differential for operating an "Arvor" bag making machine. It argues that such duties are essentially craft duties for which a differential is paid elsewhere in the industry. The Company rejects the Union's claim. It argues that no craft duties are involved in the operation of the machine.
The matter was the subject of a conciliation conference held under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement could not be reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 19th of August, 1998 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 27th of November, 1998
3. 1. "Arvor" machine operators are normally assisted by a general operative who load reels on the machine and packs the finished product. The worker concerned is responsible for setting the machine and ensuring that the quality and production are up to the Company's standards. She also loads reels, takes off, and packages, only receiving assistance when the reels are above a certain weight.
2. Workers employed in similar employment in the bag making industry are paid £243.75 per week for operating "Arvor" machines. The Union is seeking a job differential of 25% in recognition of the additional skills attained to do the job. This equates to £48.75 per week giving a new basic of £243.75 per week.
4. 1. The setting and major running problems of the machine are carried out by Company engineers. The operator's duties are mainly concerned with packing off the product, process checks, minor adjustments to temperature and speed in line with procedural guidelines (details supplied to the Court).
2. The claim at the time of the conciliation conference involved two employees, both of whom were employed as general operatives. This claim now only concerns one worker as the other employee has left the employment.
3. The worker concerned is not employed in the capacity of a setter operator and is not trained in this capacity.
4. Before commencing employment with the Company the worker had no previous experience in the industry. She was employed in January, 1998 as a general operative.
5. There is no basis for this claim. The Company is involved in a very competitive market and any additional cost would result in its inability to compete and would probably result in its withdrawal from this element of its business.
The Court considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
The Court is satisfied that the claimant does not rotate through other jobs but operates this machine on a day to day basis.
The Court is also satisfied that this post merits payment above the maximum rate of £195 per week.
Taking into account all of the issues involved and the Company's statement in relation to withdrawing from this business, the Court recommends as follows:-
(1) The employee to be paid a salary in excess of the £195 maximum.
(2) The parties to meet to agree the salary as in (1) above.
(3) If the parties fail to reach an agreed rate within four weeks of issue of its recommendation, the Court will on request recommend a
rate for the job.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th December, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.