INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DATA PRODUCTS LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Compensation for operating a new computer system.
2. The Union submitted a claim on behalf of its members (4) in relation to the introduction of a new computer system. It claims that its members are being asked to operate the new technology which was formerly undertaken by storepersons. Storepersons are on higher rates of pay. The Union states that its members should be paid a higher rate of pay to reflect the higher duties being performed by them.
The Company rejected the Union's claim and stated that it had always used computer systems to run its business. It has never compensated employees where new technology was introduced. The new technology is vital for the continued survival of the business.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 22nd of December, 1998 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 8th of February, 1999 under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 21st of October, 1999( the earliest date suitable to the parties).
3. 1. The claimants are entitled to enhanced payments as a result of the implementation of the new 4th Shift System.
2. The employees concerned are the only operators in the plant using computers.
3. It is normal practice that where new technology is brought into operation compensation is paid accordingly.
4. Since December, 1997 the workers concerned have operated the new computer system under protest on the basis that their claim for compensation would be processed through procedures.
4. 1. The Company has always used computer systems to run its business. It has never paid employees for the introduction of new technology.
2. In June, 1997 the Company commenced a training programme on the new computer system. At this time there was no indication that the claimants would be seeking additional monies to operate the system.
3. The Company believes that there is no justification for conceding this claim.
4. It is a cost increasing claim and therefore precluded under the terms of Partnership 2000.
The Court has given careful consideration to the written and oral submissions in this claim. The Court is of the view that given the commitment contained within Partnership 2000 to " full and ongoing co-operation with change ", this claim must be viewed in that context. Therefore, the Court rejects the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th October, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.