INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pay increase.
2. The Company employs thirty-six people and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grafton Group plc. It manufactures plastic building materials. Other Grafton Group companies are MEP Sales Limited and CPI Limited who operate on the same site at Lucan.
The Union submitted a special pay claim on behalf of foremen employed by the Company. The basis of the claim is the "1980 Productivity Agreement " under which the foremen allege they have lost out since 1987. The Union claims that the foremen have been more affected by that agreement and should, therefore, receive additional remuneration.
Management rejected the claim and states that it has honoured all national wage agreements to date. The foremen have a defined benefit pension scheme and a sick-pay scheme. In addition, a share participation plan is in operation.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 27th of July, 1999, but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 9th of August, 1999, under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 27th of September, 1999.
3. 1. The Company has failed to implement a pay increase which would adequately reward the role and responsibilities of foremen. Pay is comparatively low when compared to similar responsibilities in other employments.
3. 2. This claim is in the pipeline since 1997. Over the past twelve years the role of foremen has evolved and foremen have taken on new responsibilities as well. This should, therefore, be compensated with a suitable pay increase.
3. 3. The additional responsibilities of the foremen such as firefighting and first aid coupled with their training in computerised work systems and various high tech areas have benefitted the Company since 1987.
4. 1. The claim is cost increasing and is precluded under the terms of Partnership 2000.
4. 2. The Company acknowledges that the foremen's role has developed over the years but that this has been provided for in successive National Agreements. Other employee groups represented by the Union at the Lucan site are subject to the agreed terms and conditions of the various National Agreements including Partnership 2000.
4. 3. The Company must maintain its ongoing competitiveness of its manufacturing operations or it will lose out to its competitors.
4. 4. Concession of the claim will lead to follow-on claims from the rest of the workforce.
The Court considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
It is unfortunate that the Company's view on this claim was not made clear from the time the new job descriptions were first raised.
However, having considered the case before it, the Court agrees with the employer that the claim is cost increasing and is precluded under Partnership 2000.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th October, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.