INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Non-payment of special award.
2. The Union is seeking a special payment of £5,000 (6,348.69 Euro) for thirty of its craft members. It claims that this special payment was made to employees who work at the Company's new tablet plant. It states that its members were involved in the start-up phase of this new site.
The Company rejected the Union's claim. It states that a special payment of £5,000 (6,348.69 Euro) was made to employees working at the tablet plant. The Company claims that the payment was in recognition of the excess hours worked by the employees at the start-up of this operation. They are not paid for overtime worked.
As no agreement was possible between the parties, the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 11th of July, 2001, but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 1st of August, 2001, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 14th of November, 2001.
3. 1. The refusal to pay this special payment to our members on the basis of different pay structures is unacceptable.
2. It is the norm in industry that special payments are made to hourly paid and salary paid employees in similar circumstances.
3. The craftworkers on site find the segregation of payment demotivating, insulting and arrogant. This payment was given to all workers in the new plant even though some were not employed until the end of the construction phase.
4. Craftworkers have continuously provided maintenance cover and technical support throughout the planning, construction and start-up of the new plant and will continue to provide such cover into the future.
4. 1. The payment was to compensate staff at the tablet plant for significant excess hours worked during the start-up of the new site.
2. There is no overtime paid at this new site. The ex-gratia payment was in recognition of the commitment and co-operation given by the staff at the new plant.
3. The craftworkers involved in this claim are paid overtime in respect of all overtime worked by them. They were the recipients of overtime payments during the start-up of the new plant and continue to enjoy substantial overtime payments.
4. The claim is highly opportunistic and it is the Company's view that it has no legitimacy whatsoever.
5. The claim is cost increasing and is, therefore, precluded under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (P.P.F.).
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court cannot see any evidence on which it could conclude that the special payments at issue were other than in consideration of additional hours worked by the recipients of those payments.
Given that the claimants were paid overtime in respect of any additional time worked, the Court cannot see any basis on which it should recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd December, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.