INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Dispute concerning a disturbance payment.
2. The Company is involved in the manufacture of double glazed units. In January, 1998, the Company moved from Togher in the Southwest of Cork city to Churchfield in the north of the city (approx. 4 miles). The Company move was undertaken in order to acquire a larger more modern premises and to increase its facilities. The Union submitted a claim on behalf of approximately 66 workers for a disturbance payment. Management rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference was held on the 8th of April, 1998. Agreement was not reached and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 25th April, 1998. A Court hearing was held in Cork on the 10th of February, 1999, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
1. The Company emphasised in discussions with the Union the importance of the transfer to the new location in order to facilitate its operation and save the expense of building an extension.
2. Despite the Company's negative response to the Union's claim the employees worked long hours including a weekend over the Christmas holidays (1997) and offered full co-operation with the transfer in order to facilitate a smooth start-up of the operation in January, 1998.
3. The Company has continued with its negative attitude to the claim despite the Union's reasonable demands, and workers' full co-operation with the transfer.
4. The Union's claim is not substantial and will not mean a significant cost to the Company. Workers expect a positive approach from Management in view of their co-operation past and present. The Union accepts that the claim relates to workers who reside on the south side of the city only.
1. During the Company's first year of operation at the new site significant losses accrued. The Company's plants in Dublin, Waterford and Limerick were closed due to their increasing loss making situation. The Company is currently operating in a very difficult business. The price received and percentage profit it receives for its product can be low due to the competitive nature of the business. This applies in particular to the Irish Market and to a lesser extent to mainland Europe. The cost of transportation of its products to mainland Europe is also a significant cost factor. WMG has no option however, but to trade in Europe to maintain its business. Operationally the Company is currently losing money and for that reason alone has great difficulty in making an offer for disturbance compensation. Management is prepared to discuss this issue when it moves into profitability.
2. The need for relocation in WMG was necessary as management felt that the old premises were inadequate, unsafe and unsuitable due to the overcrowding of the workforce in that location. Management did have plans to extend the facility at Togher but for a number of reasons could not do so.
3. This claim is precluded as a cost increasing claim under Partnership 2000.
4. Due to its current financial position the Company cannot pay compensation in this case.
5. The Company offered £200 and £100 to personnel with one year's service for those employees living on the south side of the city.
The Court considered the written and oral submission of the parties and noted that at the hearing the Union accepts that this claim relates to those employees who reside on the south side of Cork city only.
Therefore, the Court recommends that the Company's offer be amended to provide that for those employees who reside on the south side of Cork city, with more than one year's service at the date of the move, they should be paid £250 gross each. For those employees who reside on the south side of the city, who had less than one year's service at the date of the move, they should be paid £125 gross each.
The Court understands that the date of the move was 5th January, 1998, service should be calculated from that date.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th February, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.