INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ACCO IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Redundancy terms.
2. The Company was established in the IDA industrial estate in Clonshaugh in 1981. It is involved in the manufacture and assembly of plastic components for office products, and currently employs 95 people. On the 7th of January, 1998, the Company announced that it was to close, resulting in all the jobs becoming redundant. The dispute concerns the amount of the redundancy package on offer. The Company made a final offer of 4.75 weeks' pay per year of service, plus statutory redundancy, plus payment in lieu of notice which, it claims, would total 5.6 weeks' pay per year of service. The Union is seeking 8 weeks' pay per year of service, plus statutory, plus payment in lieu of notice.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place on the 26th of January, 1998. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 27th of January, 1998 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of February, 1998.
3. 1. The Company negotiated rationalisation/reorganisation programmes in 1990, 1992 and 1994. In late 1996, 19 workers left on voluntary severance following a survival package. All remaining workers conceded major changes in their working arrangements and conditions of employment. It was because of the workers' contribution following these various changes that the Company has been as successful as it was over the years. The Company is moving its operations to the United Kingdom to increase its profits, not because it had been unsuccessful in Ireland.
2. The 19 workers who left in 1996 received 3.5 weeks' pay per year of service plus the usual entitlements but that was in the case of voluntary redundancy. The present situation is forced redundancy, and the workers concerned deserve 8 weeks' pay per year of service. Many of the workers are at an age where they will find it very difficult to be re-employed. Many are also unskilled. The average service of the workers is 11 years.
4. 1. The Company is involved in a highly competitive market. It has not been successful in competing for any new business since 1995 because of competitors sourcing more cheaply from the Far East. The Company is moving to the United Kingdom in an effort to maintain profits, not just to increase them.
2. Following the move, the Company will not make any profits for at least 2 years as redundancy costs will be in excess of £3 million. The average pay of the workers is very good, approximately £21,000 per annum. The Company offer, which equates to an average of 5.6 weeks' pay per year of service is very generous and is considerably more than the compensation given to the 19 workers in 1996.
The Court, having considered all the information before it, recommends that the Company offer of 4.75 weeks' pay per year of service, plus statutory entitlements, plus pay in lieu of notice be amended to 5 weeks' pay per year of service, plus statutory entitlements, plus pay in lieu of notice.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th February, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.