INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
NATIONAL BUS AND RAIL UNION
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Inconvenience Payment.
2. The dispute concerns a claim for an "inconvenience payment" to drivers arising from the temporary loss of canteen facilities. As part of the initial stages of a major road development plan in the area, the Bus Eireann canteen was demolished and temporary canteen facilities were provided. The Unions sought the inconvenience payment on the grounds, they claim, that the temporary facilities are primitive and pose a risk to health and their location causes the drivers considerable inconvenience. The Company rejects the Union position and claims that all that could be done to alleviate the inconvenience to the drivers has been done. The matter was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission at which agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 10th of November, 1997, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court carried out its investigation, in Waterford on the 28th of January, 1998.
3. 1. The provision of temporary canteen and rest room accommodation is inadequate. The kitchen area is far too small to accommodate more than a few members of staff.
2. For a long period of time, a smell of sewerage has permeated the kitchen and portacabin areas. Additionally, on occasions, vermin have been observed in the area.
3. The staff have been further discommoded due to the abolition of car-parking facilities and the reduction to break-times due to addition distance from breaking points. There is also late finishing of duties between 1700 hours and 1800 hours due to heavy traffic on the way to and from Ferrybank.
4. Relocation compensation is justified by reference to the adverse impact of the changes made. In this case, the adverse impact is very significant and substantial compensation is warranted.
4. 1. The temporary accommodation put in place by the Company was a reasonable attempt to provide alternative canteen facilities as an interim arrangement pending the building of a permanent structure, due to be completed presently. The Company has endeavoured to address fully complaints in respect of hygiene matters, including the reported presence of vermin.
2. Payment of disturbance/inconvenience payments in both the public and semi-state section is debarred by Government since October, 1983. The re-introduction of such payments would jeopardise the planned works to upgrade facilities at other locations.
3. The claim, as quantified by the trade unions, is unjustified and is without merit having regard to the genuine efforts made by the Company to alleviate any hardship or inconvenience caused by the relocation of the canteen.
4. This situation has resulted from the decision of the Waterford City Corporation to develop the roadway in the vicinity of the Company's depot and is, therefore, outside the Company's control.
The Court is concerned as to the reputed hygiene in the temporary portacabins and recommends that this factor be given more priority by the Company.
In the circumstances outlined, and taking into account the Company's efforts to meet Union complaints, the Court does not consider monetary compensation is warranted in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th of February, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.