INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HAMMOND LANE METAL CO LTD
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Claim for disturbance compensation.
2. The Company is engaged in the processing of scrap materials which are then sold at home and abroad. There are three branches, one in Dublin, Cork and Athlone, employing a total of fifty-eight people.
The Union has submitted a compensation claim on behalf of its members as a result of the Company relocating its business from Sir John Rogersons Quay to Pigeon House Road, Ringsend.
The Company claims that it made an offer of £165 nett to the general operatives to move to the new location but the offer was rejected. It states that it was imperative that the Company move to its new location in order to facilitate the development of the business.
The Union claims that because of the relocation, its members have suffered a substantial disimprovement in their overall employment package and should be compensated accordingly.
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 4th of November, 1998. The Industrial Relations Officer (IRO) put forward proposals to resolve the dispute. However, the proposals were rejected by the members. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 10th of December, 1998 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 15th of February, 1999.
3. 1. The workers have suffered financial loss as a result of the Company's decision to move to new premises.
2. The new location is poorly served by public transport with only one bus at 7.30 a.m.
3. The move to Ringsend has caused major hardship for the workers concerned.
4. The workers have experienced a substantial disimprovement in their overall working environment because of the relocation.
4. 1. It was necessary from an environmental point of view to relocate the business. The new facility provides better working conditions for the staff concerned.
2. The Company took all reasonable steps to minimise the inconvenience to the employees. It provided the employees with twelve months notice of the intended move.
3. Any disturbance involved was minimal. Some employees are now residing closer to the new facility.
4. The Company has made a reasonable offer of compensation and it should be accepted.
The Court has carefully considered the submissions made by the parties.
In the circumstances of this case, the Court recommends that the employer's offer be increased to £375 in full and final settlement of all claims arising from the relocation to Pigeon House Road.
Concerns were expressed about hazardous working conditions from a health and safety perspective. These are not matters on which a claim for compensation could be based, but should be dealt with through the appropriate channels.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th February, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.