INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
WYETH NUTRITIONALS IRELAND
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Payment for introduction of 4-cycle shift.
2. The claim is on behalf of 30/32 technicians for lump-sum payments for extra duties and responsibilities which they undertook during a period of 4-cycle, 7-day work (details supplied to the Court). The claim arose out of a payment made to supervisors.
The Company is engaged in the manufacture of infant nutritional products in powder and liquid form. In August, 1998, it became necessary to introduce 7-day, 4 cycle working, which lasted until March, 1999. As a result, 81 new jobs were created and supervisors were required to undertake additional duties and responsibilities. These supervisors were paid £1,750, made up of £1,000 for August to December, 1998, and £750 for January to March, 1999. The Union believes that the technicians concerned should be paid a similar amount.
In October, 2000, it again became necessary to have parts of the plant on 7 day working. The Company agreed to pay £1,000 to employees involved in 7-day working during the period August-December, 1998. This included 22 of the claimants. It did not pay the £750 for the January - March, 1999, period. In January, 2001, the Union submitted a further claim for 9/10 worker for £1,750 for duties undertaken for August 1998 - March 1999. The Union's full claim is for £750 for 22 workers and £1,750 for 9/10 workers.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission, and conciliation conferences took place in December, 1999, and May, 2000. As the parties did not reach
agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 11th of September, 2000, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relation Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 28th of March, 2000 in Limerick, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The workers concerned in the claim have met the criteria which the Company itself established as the basis for the payment of the £1,750. The supervisors and technicians are normally treated similiarly for such issues. The Union did not seek payment for workers who did not qualify.
2. It is unlikely that there will be any knock-on claims, as there were no new claims since January.
4. 1. The supervisors involved in the comparison assumed additional duties and responsibilities in addition to an undiminished workload. The technician involved only took on additional duties at weekends, due to a reduced level of output.
2. The Company only agreed to pay the £1,000 to the 22 workers to secure agreement of a further 7-day working. The payment was made without prejudice to the present claim.
The Court is satisfied that those associated with the present claim, if they should broadly meet the criteria used to apply the special payments in the case of Supervisors, should also qualify for the payments. However, on the information presented, it would not be possible for the Court to determine the applicability of that criteria in the case of each of the claimants.
The Court recommends that the parties should make a further attempt to agree the number of Technicians, if any, who meet the criteria set out in the Company's letter to the Industrial Relations Officer, dated 26th January, 2000. In the event of failure to agree in respect of any individual or group of individuals, the matter should be referred to an agreed third party for final adjudication.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th April, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.