INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Non-payment of the 2% under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (P.P.F.).
2. The Union has submitted a claim on behalf of 170 employees working at the Company's plant in Tallaght, Dublin 24. The claim is for the payment of the 2% under the stability enhancing measures of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (P.P.F.). The Union states that workers at the Company's plant in Limerick were paid the 2%.
Management rejected the claim on the basis that it had paid above the terms of the P.P.F. and were, therefore, exempt from paying the extra 2%. It states that workers in Limerick were not paid above the terms of the national agreement.
As no agreement was possible between the parties, the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 11th of September, 2001, but no agreement was reached. The parties agreed to refer the dispute to the Labour Court on the 11th of September, 2001, under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 18th of December, 2001.
3. 1. The Union does not accept that all staff were paid above the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (P.P.F.).
2. The claim is not in breach of the terms of the P.P.F.
3. The refusal of the Company to apply the 2% to the workers in Dublin while applying it to their colleagues in Limerick is discriminatory.
4. As a consequence of the Company's refusal to treat them on an equitable basis with their colleagues in Limerick, the members have voted for industrial action.
4. 1. The Company should not be expected to pay "on the double" as all employees have received increases which were above the revised terms of the P.P.F.
2. The claim of discrimination is unfair as the plants in Dublin and Limerick are separate companies, not only in operation and location, but are subject to separate corporation tax, separate returns and separate budgets.
3. The Company operates in a very competitive market. It must keep its costs down or it will lose out to its competitors.
4. Clause 7 of the P.P.F provides for a mechanism to recognise difficulties employers may have in meeting the terms of the P.P.F. and circumstances where competitiveness and employment are at risk, including employers where pay costs have increased significantly above those implied by the terms of the agreement.
The Court recommends that the claim for the payment of the 2% under the terms of the amended PPF should apply in this case, accordingly the Company should implement the 2% increase retrospective to its due date of 1st of April, 2001.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th December, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.