INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SMURFIT TP (DUBLIN) LTD
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH PRINTING FEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Dispute concerning the payment of a differential for operating a machine.
2. The Company purchased a second hand eight colour print machine called an ATN Rotary Gravure printing machine in late 1997. Management maintained that the machine was acquired in order to try and increase the Company's business in the Russian and Third World markets. The Company has two other machines a six-colour Bobst which attracts a 9% differential and a seven colour Bobst for which a 15% differential is paid. The Union is claiming a differential of 17½% for operating the "ATN" machine because it is an eight colour one. The Company rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference was held on the 26th of June, 1998. Agreement was not reached and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 20th of November, 1998. A Court hearing was held on the 3rd of February, 1999, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
1. The Company already pays a 15% differential for the seven colour machine. The basis for the Union's claim for the eight colour machine, therefore is, 15 � 7 x 8 = 17.1428%.
The claim is not based on additional work/productivity but is submitted on the basis of the care, skill and knowledge that the worker has to achieve to ensure that the crew on the machine can operate as a team and run the machine at optimum speeds.
2. The skills that are required are no less different that those of the employee working for the seven colour machine which attracts a 15% differential.
3. Whilst the "ATN" machine has had a lot of downtime due to lack of orders and mechanical problems, this does not alter the fact that the skills and knowledge achieved by the worker are utilised as and when the Company require.
1. The claimants are not machine operators. They service the machine in as much as they bring paper, inks and solvents to the machine and pallets of print away from the machine and any other general duties.
2. The logic of their claim is clearly flawed in that it is based entirely on the colour capability of the seven colour 820 mm Bobst (machine rate 15%) and omits any mention of the 650 mm Bobst Six Colour for which they are paid a differential of 9%. The Company however, is prepared to offer 9% for operating the "ATN" machine
3. The Company rarely print beyond five colours and they have never had a claim from SIPTU based on colour capacity of a machine alone.
4. The machine when commissioned ran for approximately six weeks. It has not produced since as a direct result of the collapse of the Russian market.
5. The Company has offered to have the matter work studied.
6. The only logic for the Union's claim is one based on the colour units of the 550 mm "ATN".
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions recommends that the employees accept the Company's offer of 9% differential.
In the meantime, if the parties agree they can have the work studied by an agreed third party.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th February, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.