INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
THOMAS MCDONOGH & SONS LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Rates of pay.
2. Thomas McDonogh and Sons Limited is engaged in the agribusiness/fertilizers/animal feeds and retail builders providers. It employs 80 people in Galway.
The dispute concerns the Union's claim on behalf of approximately 30 workers employed by the Company at its builders providers operation in Ballybane. It is seeking an increase in pay of £40 per week, plus additional increases in service pay. It claims that the dispute over pay has been ongoing for a number of years. It argues that in the past the workers concerned were paid the same rate of pay as operatives employed in the Construction Industry.
The Company has offered £5 per week from a current date and £5 per week from October, 2000, plus £2.50 on all points of the service pay rates. Its position is that despite the losses its Ballybane operation has suffered, it has made a reasonable and generous offer under the circumstances.
The matter was the subject of a conciliation conference held on the 3rd of March, 2000 under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement could not be reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 17th of May, 2000, under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in Galway on the 1st of June, 2000. Following an earlier conciliation conference the Union side balloted in favour of industrial action but this was postponed to allow for a return to conciliation.
3. 1. The Union is seeking similar rates of pay to those paid to workers in similiar employment in the Construction Industry. In the past the workers concerned were paid the same rate as operatives in the Construction Industry, who currently are paid substantially higher rates of pay.
2. While the Company refuses to accept that there is a relationship between its operation in Ballybane and the Construction Industry, it applies other conditions applicable to the Construction Industry Registered Employment Agreement, such as sick pay and pension, but refuses to apply the basic rate of pay.
3. The dispute over rates of pay has been ongoing for a number of years and the workers recently deferred industrial action to allow for a return to conciliation. This case concerns the question of whether or not people should be rewarded for and paid a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.
4. 1. The workers concerned are located at the Company's operation in Ballybane. The trading entity in Ballybane has suffered substantial losses in the period from the 1st of October, 1999 to the 31st of March, 2000.
2. The Company, despite the losses it has suffered, has made a reasonable offer and cannot entertain a higher increase than its existing offer, which was rejected and now stands withdrawn.
3. The Company is covered by Partnership 2000 until the 1st of December, 2000. Under Partnership 2000 the final phase of 1% is due in June, 2000. In December, 2000 the first phase of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness is due. At conciliation the Company argued that the claim is cost increasing and, therefore, prohibited under Partnership 2000.
4. Concession of the Union's claim would lead to similar claims across the Company's operations as the general operatives' rate applies across the board. In the circumstances the Court is requested to recommend that the Company's offer is generous.
The Court has taken into consideration all aspects of this claim. In settlement of this claim the Court recommends that, conditional on acceptance of the terms laid down herein, the Company should improve the offer it made on 3rd May, 2000, to the following:-
- £5.00 to be paid two months retrospectively from the date of acceptance of this recommendation,
- £7.50 from 1st October, 2000,
- £2.50 from 1st December, 2000 (before application of PPF increase),
and service pay should be increased as follows, with effect from 1st May, 2000:-
after 5 years' service - £3.00 per week
after 10 years' service - £4.00 per week
after 15 years' service - £5.00 per week
after 20 years' service - £6.00 per week.
In return for the increases recommended above by the Court, the Union must agree to co-operate and assist in achieving productivity and cost saving measures to secure the future viability of the business concerned.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
22nd June, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.