INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACT SERVICES LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Rate of pay applicable to workers employed on the Guinness site.
2. The dispute concerns a claim by the Union for an increase in the rate of pay for thirty full-time contract cleaners employed by the Company at its Guinness site. It claims that the workers concerned perform duties which are not covered by the Employment Regulation Order (E.R.O.) for the contract cleaning industry.
The claim was previously before the Court in 1992 when the Company sought clarification as to whether the Contract Cleaning Joint Labour Committee (J.L.C.) Employment Regulation Order (E.R.O.) applied to this group of workers. The Court decided that these particular workers were covered by the relevant E.R.O. (LCR13850 refers).
However, in 1997 following an application from the Union for an interpretation, under Section 57 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1946 as to whether a worker was covered by the E.R.O. the Court decided that the employees concerned were not covered by the E.R.O. (DEC 971 refers).
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 8th April, 1998 but no agreement could be reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 14th April, 1998 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 16th June, 1998.
3. 1. The Union is seeking for its members the rates of pay which currently apply to non-craft workers in the construction industry.
2. There are other employers within the Contract Cleaning Industry who pay above the minimum hourly rates as provided for in the Employment Regulation Order (E.R.O.).
3. The workers concerned provide a wide range of services outside those of contract cleaning. The Union wishes to negotiate a rate of pay to reflect these extra services.
4. The Company has evolved from Professional Contract Cleaners to Professional Contract Services due to increasing requests from clients to provide services such as those being provided by our members at the Guinness site.
5. In Decision DEC 971 the Court decided that the workers concerned were not covered by the Contract Cleaning JLC. The workers concerned should be paid the appropriate rate for the job.
4. 1. The workers concerned are employed as cleaners and the duties undertaken by these workers are general tasks undertaken by many cleaners in the contract cleaning industry.
2. Concession of this claim would have serious knock-on effects for the Company.
3. The Company secured the contract for the Guinness site on the basis of competitive tendering. There is no provision for adjusting the contract price, once negotiated. Furthermore, the Company is not in a position to absorb any additional costs.
4. The claim by the Union is unjustified. It is cost increasing and is precluded under the terms of Partnership 2000.
The Court has already decided in Decision DEC971, that the workers associated with this claim are not covered by the Contract Cleaning JLC. That decision was given pursuant to Section 57(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1946 and is a final and conclusive determination of the issue.
It follows that the workers concerned are outside the scope of the Employment Regulation Order (E.R.O.) for the contract cleaning industry. In these circumstances the Court considers the E.R.O. rate to be inappropriate for the work in which they are engaged and believes that it should attract an appropriate plus-rate.
It is also clear to the Court that the parties have not made sufficient effort to resolve this matter by negotiations. The Court, therefore, recommends that they re-open negotiations to establish an appropriate plus-rate for the work in question.
Should the parties fail to reach agreement by 31st August 1998 the matter may be referred back to the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th June, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.