INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
G & T CRAMPTON LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FEDERATION)
- AND -
BUILDING AND ALLIED TRADES' UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Compensation for lay-off.
2. The Union is seeking compensation for its members for loss of earnings as a result of being laid-off following an unofficial dispute involving scaffolders which commenced on the 12th of April, 1999 and was resolved on the 15th of May, 1999.
The Union claims that its members suffered financial loss as a result of this unofficial dispute and should be compensated accordingly. It claims that if meaningful negotiations had taken place between the Company and the scaffolders, the financial loss could have been avoided.
Management rejects the Union's claim and states that it did everything possible to maintain full employment at that time. It claims that of the 66 bricklayers and 4 apprentices employed by the Company, 27 bricklayers and 4 apprentices were retained for the full duration of the dispute. Also, a further 33 bricklayers were retained until the 23rd of April, 1999 and 6 more placed on temporary lay-off from the 30th of April, 1999.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 23rd of August, 1999 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 19th of October, 1999 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 10th of January, 2000.
3. 1. As soon as the dispute began the Construction Industry Federation advised its members to lay workers off rather than enter into meaningful negotiations.
2. Our members were innocent parties to this dispute and should be compensated for the financial loss which they have incurred. There are precedents for payment in such circumstances.
3. A number of companies have acknowledged the financial loss suffered by the workers concerned and have made some gesture to rectify the matter.
4. 1. All workers on the site were issued with protective notice and were fully aware that it was inevitable that if the strike continued, workers would be laid-off.
2. Other categories of workers employed by the Company were also laid-off at the same time.
3. The Company complied with the legislation and correct procedures in relation to the way employees were laid-off.
4. When the dispute was over, most of the employees who were laid-off, were not available to return to work for the Company as they were working elsewhere during the strike.
The Court has considered the written and oral submissions in this dispute. The Court does not recommend concession of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st January, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.