INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
EUREST SUTCLIFFE CATERING SERVICES LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Relocation money.
2. The dispute concerns a claim on behalf of 3 workers, employed by Eurest Sutcliffe as caterers at the Blood Transfusion Service Board (BTSB), for compensation for moving from the BTSB, Pelican House, to St. James' Hospital.
When the BTSB moved to St. James' Hospital, it agreed compensation payments of £1,700 for its own direct employees. The Union is seeking a similar payment for its 3 members who have also had to transfer. The Company cited a transferability clause in the Company/Union Agreement (the Agreement) which, it claims, rules out any such payment. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission, and a conciliation conference took place on the 3rd of November, 2000. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 13th of November, 2000, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court Hearing took place on the 1st of February, 2001.
3. 1. The 3 employees have worked for 20 years, 14 years and 6 years respectively at the BTSB. It is not unreasonable that they should seek compensation in line with their colleagues.
2. The transferability clause in the Agreement refers to individuals, not groups as in this case.
3. A number of other employments have awarded compensation for relocation (details supplied to the Court).
4. 1 It is a term and condition of the industry that employees may be transferred to other units as required and employees are aware of this. This is clearly stated in the Agreement. The Company has transferred employees in this manner in a number of units recently (details supplied to the Court).
2. There is no precedent in the Company for compensation payment for transfer of workers from one unit to another. If such compensation were paid, the Company would find itself unable to operate effectively, and provide a cost-effective service to its clients.
The Court has taken consideration of all aspects of this case, and is of the view that there were unique circumstances pertaining to this case. These are circumstances which would not normally be experienced by the Company. It is accepted that the "transferability clause" in the Company/Union agreement is clear and specific as it is based on the economic need of the Company to transfer employees from one unit to another. This principle is accepted by the Union.
In the special circumstances of this case, the Court is of the view that there is some merit to the claim and, therefore, the Court recommends that the Company and the Union should meet to agree on a value for the relocation of the three employees concerned.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th February, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.