INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Rates of pay.
2. The Company is involved in the fabrication of sheet metal for the computer, medical and telecommunications sectors. The Company employs 120 people at its two plants in Galway. In 1999, the Company awarded a 25% increase to 4 general operatives to carry out specific duties. The Union is claiming the same increase for the remaining operatives. The matter was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As no agreement could be reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 12th January 2001, under Section 26(1)(a)(b) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 4th of April 200.
3. 1. There is no difference in the value of work between the 4 operatives and the work performed by the rest of the operatives.
2. Management has breached the terms of the 1994 agreement on pay.
3. Management stated that the 25% increase was for training and would be withdrawn when training was completed, documentation held by the Union clearly states that this was a permanent arrangement.
4. 1. The Company does not concede that the claim is a valid one and are satisfied that the pay rates are in line with the best in the region.
2. The claim is outside the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
3. The Company incurred losses in excess of $1.5 million for year ended November 30th, 1999. The cost of the claim if conceded would be in the region of £400,000 (507,895 Euros) annually and the Company cannot survive with a claim outside the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
The Court fully accepts that the underlying cause of this dispute was entirely of the Company's own making. Nevertheless the Court does not accept that the circumstances which were brought about could justify concession of the Union's claim, particularly in view of the impact which it would have on the competitiveness of the enterprise and the implications for employment.
The Court believes that the present dispute should be resolved by the Company offering and the Union accepting a once-off lump sum to all those involved with the present claim, in full and final settlement of that claim. The Company should also provide the Union with firm and unequivocal assurances that all future negotiations on industrial relations matters will be dealt with through official channels and that the terms of Company/Union agreement will be strictly adhered to.
Since the parties have not discussed any alternative approach to meeting the Union's claim, the Court does not consider it appropriate to recommend on the level of lump sum which should be offered. This should be discussed between the parties following acceptance of this recommendation.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th April, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.