INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
WOCO INDUSTRIAL COMPONENTS LIMITED
REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Hearing arising from Court Recommendation LCR15692
2. A Court hearing arising from LCR15692 was held on the 21st of December, 1998.
The Court's recommendation is as follows:-
This dispute was referred directly to the Court by way of a request for clarification of Recommendation LCR15692. Following the issue of that Recommendation in November, 1997, the parties reached agreement in respect of voluntary redundancies and compensation in respect of a buy-out of the "Peeling and Trimming Allowance". While that agreement was expressed to be "an agreed clarification" of LCR15692, it in fact elaborated significantly on that Recommendation.
Specifically, while the Court recommended that further voluntary severance should be made available, insofar as the Company can accommodate, the agreement subsequently went further and provided what could only be interpreted as a commitment to make additional voluntary severance available 12 months after the first redundancies.
Moreover, while the Court recommended that individuals carrying extra payments for peeling and checking should have these rates preserved for a stated period, pending later assessment, the parties subsequently agreed to a buy-out of these allowances.
What is now at issue, therefore, is the interpretation/application of that agreement rather than an interpretation of LCR15692.
From the submissions made by the parties it is clear that the specific issues referred to the Court are part of a wider range of industrial relations problems within the employment. These include issues relating to non-co-operation with new products and an apparent inability on the part of workers and management to work together in ensuring the continued viability of the plant and the protection of employment.
This agreement reached between the parties was intended to give effect to the recommendation of the Court on the implementation of changes in work practice, including co-operation with new products. From the submissions of the parties it is clear that progress was being made, with the assistance of the Labour Relations Commission, towards implementing those changes. Regrettably, that process has now been stalled.
The Court recommends that that process should recommence immediately. On implementation of new work practices, the Company should commence the implementation of the additional 5 redundancies agreed on the same terms as applied in January, 1998. These redundancies should be fully implemented on a phased basis over a period not exceeding 6 months.
On the question of the peeling and checking allowance, it is recommended that the Company increase its offer in respect of a buy-out to 1.5 times the annual allowance. This, again, should be conditional on implementation of the changes in work practice.
Finally, the Court wishes to express its concern at the decision to initiate a process for the taking of industrial action while a hearing of this dispute was pending. The Court notes, however, the assurance given in the course of the hearing that the industrial action proposed will not now proceed and on that basis the disputed lay-offs will also be rescinded. This recommendation is, therefore, issued on that basis.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th January, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.