INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
P & O FERRYMASTERS (ROSSLARE)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Improved pay and conditions.
2. The Company is involved in the road haulage business and is based in Rosslare. It was formerly known as Transcontinental Limited and was purchased by Pandoro Limited in 1991. Pandoro was a road haulage/shipping company owned by P & O. The Company is now part of a newly restructured P &O haulage division which also has operations in Dublin.
The employees are newly unionised and are seeking similar pay and conditions to workers employed in Dublin. The Union is seeking the following conditions:-
- Grading Structure
- Wage Rounds
- Overtime Payments
- Contracts and Job Specification
- Salary Scales
- Salary assimilation
- 35 Hour Week
- Pension Scheme
- Temporary Posts to be made permanent
The Union is seeking the following grading structure:
Grade 1 - £ 9,171 - £15,085
Grade 2 - £ 9,425 - £16,923
Grade 3 - £13,484 - £17,279
Grade 4 - £13,768 - £19,010
Grade 5 - £15,979 - £20,196
The present inequities in the levels of salary paid to different staff should be assimilated into an appropriate salary scale.
Future Salary Adjustment
The Union is seeking the payment of the 2% local bargaining under Partnership 2000 with effect from the 1st of October, 1998. The Company is claiming inability to pay.
The Union is looking for a 35-hour week as opposed to the 37½ hours being offered by management. A 35-hour week in the context of white-collar employment is normal, and would not be out of line for the transport industry.
The Company has refused to pay a shift premium for those on shift work. The Union is seeking a 20% shift allowance which currently operates at the Dublin plant.
The Union is seeking the payment of overtime on an hour by hour basis at the appropriate rates of time-and-a-half or double time instead of the present system of payment.
All permanent staff in Rosslare should be allowed to join the pension scheme on the same terms as staff employed in Dublin.
The Union were given a commitment that temporary staff would be made permanent but management has failed to keep this promise.
The Company claims that its pay costs are already high in comparison with its competitors in Wexford and Dublin. These competitors are non-union and none of them pay salary scales, overtime, shift pay or pensions. Furthermore, the Company's rates in Dublin are historically related to Pandoro rates for haulage/shipping operations and are not sustainable now that the business is road haulage only.
Management states that it is prepared to go some-way towards meeting the Union's demands. However, it cannot commit itself to the introduction of pay scales because of the financial position of the Company.
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 14th of January, 1999 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 20th of January, 1999 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Labour Court investigated the dispute on the 25th of March, 1999 (the earliest date suitable to both parties).
3. 1. The workers concerned are entitled to get some order and structure into their terms and conditions of employment.
2. Management acknowledge that the workers concerned are exceptional in terms of their commitment to the Company.
3. The workers have a legal right to the clear disclosure of their conditions of employment.
4. The staff has shown great forbearance and patience over the past fifteen months in attempting to bring this claim to an acceptable conclusion.
4. 1. The Company is operating in a very competitive market. It must keep costs down or it will lose competitive advantage.
2. The current pay and conditions at Rosslare are equal to or superior to that of our competitors.
3. The Company has honoured all the increases due under the various National Wage Agreements (except the 2% Local Bargaining).
4. The Company is in a serious financial position and cannot pay the 2% local bargaining under Partnership 2000.
The Court has carefully considered the submissions made by the parties in this case.
The Court believes that it is in the interest of both parties to conclude a comprehensive agreement covering pay and conditions of employment of the workers associated with this claim. The Court does not believe that sufficient negotiations have taken place between the parties in that regard.
Having regard to the historical background in which the Company's pay structure in respect of its Dublin operation was determined, the Court does not consider that the Dublin rates could be regarded as the only valid comparison for the purpose of determining the appropriate pay structure in respect of the Rosslare depot.
Initially, the parties should seek to agree a graded salary structure based on the level of responsibility and duties attaching to the various functions involved. In determining the appropriate level of salary regard should be had to the rates payable for similar work in comparable employments.
With regard to posts which involve permenent shift working, an identifiable element should be incorporated in the salary scale in respect of this requirement.
The manner of assimilating staff onto any new salary structure agreed should also be a matter for negotiation between the parties.
With regard to the other matters raised in this dispute the Court recommends as follows:-
2% local bargaining
The Court recommends that the 2% local bargaining element of PCW should be implemented with effect from six months after the date of application of the second phase of the agreement. This recommendation is intended to apply in respect of the Rosslare depot only and should not be used as a precedent in respect of any other part of the Company's operations.
The Court does not see any reason in principle as to why the staff associated with this claim should not be included in the Company's pension scheme. The context of the negotiations on salaries recommended above, the Court recommends that the parties agree the terms on which the employees concerned should be provided with pension cover.
The Court does not recommend any change in the current overtime arrangements in respect of weekend overtime. However, pro rata adjustments in the present arrangements may be necessary in the event of a new salary structure being agreed.
The Court recommends that negotiations between the parties resume as quickly as possible, within the framework of this recommendation. Any issues not resolved may be referred back to the Court for future investigation and recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th April, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.