INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
2. The Company is a family owned company that has manufactured footwear in Dundalk since 1936. The issue in dispute concerns redundancy payments for ten workers who are employed as General Operatives. Their service with the company ranges from 10 years to 44 years. The Company has offered to pay statutory redundancy, while the Union is seeking terms in excess of statutory.
The issue was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 17th of August, 2000. As agreement was not possible, the Union requested referral to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The dispute was referred on the 22nd of August, 2000 and a Labour Court hearing took place on the 15th of September, 2000.
3. 1. The workers believe that they should receive a greater redundancy package than their statutory entitlement in recognition of the loyalty and commitment that they have shown the company over many years.
2. The workers' redundancy claim is very modest. They do not expect to receive terms such as those paid to workers in two other local companies who received 3.5 weeks' pay per year of service for voluntary redundancy and up to 8 weeks' pay per year of service for compulsory redundancy.
3. The Company claims that statutory redundancy will cost approximately £40,000. With refunds, it will cost less than half of that. In addition, the Company will benefit from a reduced wage bill. As the Company will now source products from foreign markets, which had previously been worked by the claimants, further savings will accrue.
4. 1. Over the past two years the Company has experienced problems with labour shortages, reduced outputs and delayed contracts.
2. The Company is in a weak financial position and cannot concede the Union's claim.
3. Many Irish clothing and footwear manufacturers have faced similar situations and have paid statutory redundancy terms only.
Having carefully considered the submissions of the parties, the Court recommends that the Union's claim for one week's pay per year of service in addition to statutory terms be conceded.
Having regard to the economic and commercial circumstances of the Company the Court further recommends that the statutory redundancy terms should be implemented immediately and that the parties should agree a reasonable timeframe within which the additional amounts should be paid.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
22nd September, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.