INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
IRISH PRINTING FEDERATION
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
DUBLIN PRINTING GROUP OF UNIONS
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Increases under the revised P.P.F.
2. The dispute relates to the payment of the 2% increase from the 1st April, 2001 and a 1% lump sum from the 1st April, 2002 under the agreed revision of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
The Dublin Printing Group of Unions is seeking the payments on an industry basis and without any concessions in return. It wants the application of the 2% increase paid precisely in accordance with the terms of the December Agreement.
Management is willing to negotiate payment of the increases, but only on a Company-by-Company basis and with concessions in return.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A concilation conference was held on the 5th March, 2001 but no agreement was reached.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 5th March, 2001 under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 19th April, 2001.
3. 1. The Unions accepted the revised agreement without balloting the members because there had been no mention of any concessions being sought in return. It was understood that the revised agreement was designed to restore the original value of the PPF which was eroded by inflation.
2. The Unions are seeking the application of the 2% increase in accordance with the terms of the December Agreement.
3. A number of companies who are members of the Irish Print Federation have conceded the payment in full.
4. Failure to pay the 2% from the 1st April, 2001 has caused a lot of fricition and hostility among the members.
4. 1. Member companies of the federation are prepared to pay the increases attached to PPF in return for concessions by the Unions.
2. IPF member companies must have concessions within the meaning of the agreement to alleviate the additional costs of the PPF Revision. Members have a right to concessions and this entitlement is stated in the agreement.
3. Clause 1 of PPF commits the parties to "full and ongoing change and the need for continued adaption and flexibility to maintain and improve competitiveness".
4. The printing industry has not enjoyed the benefits of the Celtic Tiger. Competition from the U.K. and mainland Europe has resulted in redundancies in the industry here in Ireland.
It was accepted by the D.P.G.U. that the employers were entitled to seek concessions in return for payments, as outlined in Clause 1 of the P.P.F.
The argument was made by the employers that if the payment was made before concessions were agreed, none would be forthcoming. The Union argued that the payment should be made before agreement, and that the issue should be negotiated at Sector level. The Unions expressed concern that unreasonable concessions would be sought and talks would be dragged on for a long time.
The Court, having considered all of the issues involved recommends that Companies seeking concessions, should enter into discussions immediately with their Unions. Discussions to be completed within 2 weeks from date of recommendation and the Court to reconvene 2 weeks later, to make a definitive recommendation on this dispute.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th April, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.