INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SHAMROCK ALUMINIUM LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR208/00/GF
2. The dispute concerns a claim by the Union in relation to the interpretation of a Company/Union agreement. The Union claims that in March 1990 the Company sought the introduction of a 4-shift cycle. Agreement was concluded in relation to pay. In addition, an extra 16 hours for holiday purposes (2 days) was agreed to for those operating the 4-shift cycle.
The Union states that following the introduction of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 the 16 hours for these shift workers was reduced to 8 hours by the Company without any negotiation with the Union.
The Company claims that it is complying with the Working Time Act. It states that shift workers are still receiving in excess of their statutory entitlements.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. A Rights Commissioner's hearing took place on the 11th July, 2000. The Rights Commissioner recommended as follows:-
"The Company argues that it is complying with the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 but that is clearly not the issue. What is clear however, is that the employees were granted 16 hours extra holidays for the introduction of a 4 cycle shift regardless of statutory entitlements. In my opinion this benefit cannot be eroded in this manner and I recommend that it be restored retrospectively."
3. 1. The Organisation of Working Time Act, was not intended to increase existing annual leave entitlements where these entitlements were in excess of the statutory minimum.
2. The employees have, through acquiescence, accepted the present differential since September, 1997.
3. Shift workers are still receiving in excess of their statutory entitlements.
4. To reinstate the 16 hours differential would have cost increasing implications for the Company. Such claims are precluded under the terms of the current national agreement.
4. 1. The Union reached agreement with the Company in March, 1990 for the introduction of a 4-shift cycle. The agreement provided for a revised pay structure with an extra 16 hours holidays for those operating this shift.
2. The Company has altered the agreement without any consultation with the Union.
3. Irrespective of the legislation, a specific agreement was concluded, which the Company should honour.
4. The Union asks the Court to uphold the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.
As the Court intreprets the agreement between the parties, it provides that the extra 16 hours annual leave, above that allowed to day workers, was part of the consideration given for the unsocial element involved in four cycle shift working. In these circumstances that extra allowance of leave should be maintained.
The Recommendation of the Rights Commissioner is affirmed and the appeal is disallowed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd January, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.