INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal by the Union against Rights Commissioner Recommendation No. 575/98.
2. The appeal concerns a worker who has twenty-five years service in the Corporation, the last 12 of which he has spent as a garage helper in the Corporation's garage. The Union's claim was that the minimum payment of four hours should be made to the worker as a result of the failure of the Corporation to call him out for duty when the Salting Machine was required on a particular night in December, 1997. Management claimed that the operation only required one worker (as per custom and practice), who completed the task very quickly and that no other workers were required. The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. On the 23rd of October, 1998, the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:
On the 16th of November, 1998, the Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal in Cork, on the 10th February, 1999.
1. On the night that the Salting Machine was required the Union expected that the standby arrangements in the garage would come into operation. This did not happen. Instead the general foreman and the junior foreman came into the garage and carried out the procedure of loading the Salter. The worker concerned should have been called out. Management was in clear breach of the call-out arrangements.
2. The Union totally rejects Management's claim that the operation only involved one worker in a few minutes work. The Rights Commissioner requested the Corporation to carry out a trial to determine the length of time the operation took to complete. This exercise was not carried out.
3. The work in question was appropriate to the claimant and not to supervisory grades. The worker has suffered a financial loss as a result of Management's decision and it is incumbent on the Corporation to make good his loss.
1. Whenever the Salt Spreaders are required, the Roads Department trucks go to the garage where the units are mounted. The units are stored on their own "stilts". To mount the units the trucks back in under the units, which are then secured to the vehicle by a series of bolts and the "stilts" are raised into the unit hydraulically. This operation takes a short time to complete and is normally carried out by one man.
2. The Garage Foreman or a mechanic normally undertakes the operation.
The Corporation rejects the claim that one of the garage staff should be called out to assist in the operation and on the particular occasion that it should have been the claimant.
3. The existing custom and practice is and has proved to be adequate and satisfactory over the years.
The Rights Commissioner found that the procedure adopted on the night in question conformed to the custom and practice at the garage.
4. The Corporation accepted the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner, which reflects the facts in the case and Management requests that the Court reject the appeal.
The Court has given careful consideration to the submissions of both parties and considers that in the absence of a defined policy or any form of documentary evidence to support the employer's case, the appellants case should succeed. Therefore, the appellant should be paid four hours pay.
The Court further recommends that the employer should formalise the call-out arrangements and clearly specify the procedures applying when the Salting Machine is required in emergency situations.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th February, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.