INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
LUFTHANSA AIRMOTIVE IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Establishment of an agreed procedure for evaluating claims for upgrading.
2. In 1998 the Union submitted a claim for upgrading on behalf of ten general operatives who were employed in the Chemical Cleaning\Blast Shop at the aircraft engine overhaul plant in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. The Company rejected the claim at local level and the issue was referred to the Labour Relations Commission for conciliation. A conference was held on the 23rd of June, 1999.
At conciliation the Union offered to 'shelve' the upgrading claim pending the establishment of an agreed evaluation process which would include the involvement of an independent assessor. Agreement was not possible between the parties and the Union requested referral of the evaluation issue to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Union reserved its position on the upgrading claim and the Company agreed to the referral of the evaluation issue. The Labour Court investigated the dispute on the 27th of October, 1999, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. In 1984/85, following an independent assessor's report, storemen received an increase of 7% of the operative rate and were re-classified as Technical Storemen. The Union is seeking the establishment of a Technical Operative grade equal to the Technical Storeman grade to which operatives who have acquired extra skills/responsibilities can seek to be upgraded.
2. The Union proposes a process whereby Management would investigate each claim for upgrading and, in the event of dissatisfaction, a SIPTU Industrial Engineer could examine the claim. If there is still disagreement a qualified independent assessor could adjudicate on the matter.
3. The introduction of new processes and new engines has placed additional demands and responsibilities on the claimants, for which they do not receive adequate remuneration. Workers are encouraged to take on more responsibility and to embrace new technical advances yet they are denied a system of evaluating the value of their contribution.
4. 1. The Union's claim, based on "increasing levels of skill, knowledge and responsibility" is rejected as it is in breach of Partnership 2000. In addition, the duties carried out by the claimants are proper to their grade and the claim is without foundation.
2. SIPTU represents operatives, storepersons, planners, buyers, inventory analysts and clerks. Craft grades are represented by the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union and the Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union. Under the terms of the Union/Management Agreement the Group of Unions operates on a joint claims/joint decisions basis in relation to all claims.
3. Proposals in relation to a Joint Group claim for a "loyalty" payment have recently emerged from the Labour Relations Commission. If implemented, wage rates of all Group of Union members, including the claimants, would be significantly enhanced.
Having regard to the agreed grading structure within the employment the Court does not see any basis on which it could recommend concession of the Union's claim.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th November, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.