INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
PAUWELS TRAFO IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Pay increase
2. The Company manufactures electrical distribution transformers for the utility market, and employs 350 workers. There are 4 grades which attract the following rates of pay:
Grade A £226.15 per week
Grade B £235.28 per week
Grade C £250.30 per week
Craftsmen £350.00 per week
The parties met in January, 2000, with the Union seeking an improvement in pay and conditions, but mainly an increase in pay. The Union wished to address the pay issue in the short-term with the introduction of an attendance and time-keeping bonus, and in the long-term with a gain-sharing agreement. The Union's original claim was for an increase of £10 per week for 3 years.
Following negotiations, the Company made the following offer on the 26th of April, 2000:
Bringing forward by 3 months the implementation of the P.P.F. from September, 2000, to June, 2000.
To increase all rates by a flat £5.00 per week effective from 1st of June, 2000.
Profit sharing negotiations were to be concluded by January, 2001.
The offer was rejected by the workers. Following further talks, the Union's claim is now £10 per week for perfect time-keeping and attendance, the introduction of a gain-sharing agreement, plus the Company's offer of the 26th of April, 2000.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place on the 20th of July, 2000. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 9th of August, 2000, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 24th of November, 2000.
3. 1. The Union sought a pay increase because morale was very low in the Company due to the low wage rates.
2. The Company does not currently operate profit sharing, attendance bonus or any type of employee financial incentive scheme. A large number of workers have left the Company since January, 2000, attracted by higher rates of pay available elsewhere.
3. The attendance bonus would be partly self-financing, and the gain-sharing agreement would remove inefficiencies from the operations.
4. 1. The Company has been experiencing a steady decline in profits since 1997.
2. The Union's claim is cost-increasing and is in breach of the P.P.F. The Company cannot afford to pay an un-conditional £10 per week pay rise.
3. The proposal made by the Company on the 26th of April, 2000 was not seeking any productivity measures in return, but was rejected by the workers.
It is clear that both sides put forward proposals to address the issues before the Court. It is equally clear that little consideration or examination of these proposals has taken place.
The Court, therefore, recommends that the parties meet immediately to explore and examine the Company proposals on profit-sharing, and the Union proposals on time-keeping and attendance, with a view to resolving this dispute.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th December, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.