INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
TRINITY BIOTECH PLC
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Union recognition.
2. The Company is involved in the development, manufacture and sale of diagnostic products for markets worldwide. It employs approximately 130 workers. In January, 2000, the Union wrote to the Company stating that a significant number of workers had applied to join the Union. It requested that the Company implement a payroll deduction scheme for the collection of Union subscriptions. The Union also sought a meeting to discuss any issues arising. The Company did not respond to this or a further letter sent in February,2000. An effort by the Union to refer the issue to the Labour Relations Commission was not successful. The Company subsequently responded by phone to the Union and to correspondence from the Labour Relations Commission. Management agreed that if a list of 70 workers who wished to join the Union was provided, the Company would recognise the ATGWU. The Union, through the Labour Relations Commission, provided a list of 62 workers to the Company. No further progress was made. On the 11th of June, 2001, the Union referred a complaint to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Court hearing was held on the 18th of July, 2001.
3. 1. The Company ignored the Union and its efforts to refer the issue to the Labour Relations Commission. The only option left to the Union was to refer the matter to the Labour Court.
2. The issue of Union Membership and representation has persisted over the years and will not recede because Management chooses to ignore it. The Union has established in recent weeks that approximately 70 workers wish to join the Union.
3. The Union requests the Court to recommend that the Company set up a payroll deduction for Union subscriptions and recognise the role of the ATGWU in representing its worker's rights in relation to their terms and conditions of employment.
4. 1. The Company operates in a fast moving and changing environment. It has been successful in attracting highly qualified staff. Turnover is low ,morale is high and the work atmosphere is excellent. This is attributable to good pay and terms and conditions of employment. Management feels that it is best to deal with employees directly.
2. In an effort to reach a compromise, the Company conceded that if 70 workers wish to be represented by the Union, the Company will recognise ATGWU. The Union has not achieved this goal.
The Court is satisfied that the dispute should appropriately be dealt with through the procedures set out in the Code of Practice on the Voluntary Disputes Resolution (SI 145 2000) made under Section 42 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
Accordingly, the Court recommends that the dispute be referred to the Labour Relations Commission for processing under the Code of Practice.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th July, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.