INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
NATIONAL BUS AND RAIL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendations No. 971/97 and No. 1086/97.
2. The dispute concerns two mechanical operators employed in the Company's Freight Depot, in Galway. The Unions sought the upgrading of both to the level of Traffic Co-ordinator, on the grounds of increased duties and responsibilities in recent years. The claim was rejected by the Company. The matter was the subject of investigation by a Rights Commissioner who found that the claim for upgrading had merit. He recommended, in separate Recommendations, that, in the circumstances, the two workers should be upgraded to the level of Traffic Co-ordinator, from the 1st of March, 1998. The Recommendations were appealed by the Company, on the 27th of March, 1998, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court heard the appeal on the 27th of October, 1998. Subsequent to the Court hearing, additional submissions were received from both parties in relation to the appeal.
3. 1. The workers in question are correctly graded as Mechanical Operators at the Galway Freight yard and there has been no change in the responsibilities of either which would merit a change in grade.
2. The duties carried out by both workers are no different from those carried out by Forklift Truck Operators and Mechanical Operators at other similar locations throughout the system.
3. Both workers are supervised by the Station Master and by supervisors in Galway and they receive their instructions from the clerical staff in the District Freight Office.
4. Concession of the claim would have inevitable repercussive claims from other similarly-graded staff.
5. The claim is cost-increasing and, therefore, is contrary to Clause 6 (Stabilisation) of Partnership 2000.
4. 1. The Mechanical Operators are responsible for a range of additional duties since the introduction of two forklift trucks (details supplied to the Court).
2. There has been no yard Supervisor since 1994 and, as a result, the workers are responsible for the freight yard business during the day. They are even linked on the internal telephone system for all business in relation to the freight yard. Except for the Supervisor taking the numbers of the freight train at 3.00 a.m. each morning, they do not carry out any direct supervision of the workers.
3. Since the Rights Commissioner's recommendation was issued, the workload for the workers has increased. The District Freight Manger, who has consistently praised the skill and commitment of the workers fully supports their claim for up-grading.
The Court notes the assurance given by both Unions that concession of their claim would not lead to repercussive claims on behalf of other employees in the Company.
On the strict understanding that the Court's decision in this case is based on the circumstances of the two individuals concerned and that it will have no precedent value and will not be used to ground any other claims against the Company, the Court upholds the Recommendations of the Rights Commissioner.
Accordingly, the Company's appeal is disallowed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th January, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.