INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DUNDALK PACKAGING (MC ARDLES BREWERY)
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
AMALGAMATED ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. £15 per week pay increase.
2. Dundalk Packaging is the main packaging plant for Guinness Ireland for both canning and bottling. It employs approximately 180 people.
In December, 1997, the Company concluded an agreement with the process Unions in relation to the contracting out of certain work. An increase of £15.00 per week was given to these workers in return for this agreement.
The Craft Unions are now seeking this increase for their members. They claim they were led to believe that this increase was only paid to a few process workers but it subsequently transpired that the £15.00 was paid across the board.
The Company claims that it did not mislead anyone regarding the £15.00 per week increase to general operatives. It was paid to general workers for changes in work practices and had nothing to do with the craft workers.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 13th of September, 1999, but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 27th of September, 1999, under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 9th of November, 1999 (the earliest date suitable to the parties).
3. 1. The Craft Unions are seeking a £15.00 per week increase for their members, in line with the increase given to the general operative grade.
2. The increase was given to craft helpers.
3. Following the completion of the "Craft Working Agreement" in 1995, it was indicated that any pay increases given to the general unions, would also be sought by the Craft Unions.
4. There is no reason why the general pay increase should not be applied to the Craft Workers.
5. The Craft Unions will not enter into any further negotiations on any new plans for the Company until this claim has been settled.
4. 1. The staff and assistant shift managers at the plant have not been paid this increase. Concession will lead to follow on claims.
2. The £15.00 per week wage increase to general operatives was given in return for some of their work being contracted out.
3. There is no merit in the Unions' claim. The Craft Unions were not affected, and as such have no entitlement to the payment.
4. The rates of pay enjoyed by all members of staff are highly competitive. The differential enjoyed by the Craft Unions has not been eroded by this payment.
5. This is a cost increasing claim and is debarred under the terms of Partnership 2000.
Having considered the written and oral submissions of the parties, the Court does not see how the circumstances of these workers compare with the circumstances which applied to the process workers in 1996/1997, following which process workers received an increase in pay. In addition, this claim is debarred by Partnership 2000 as a cost increasing claim. Therefore the Court rejects the Union's claim.
The Court further notes that this claim is being used to prevent negotiations from commencing on the major change programme - K2. The Court recommends that these negotiations should now commence.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th December, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.