INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
G & T CRAMPTON LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FEDERATION)
- AND -
BUILDING AND ALLIED TRADES UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Selection criteria for "lay-off".
2. The Company is one of the main building contractors in the country. It employs approximately twenty four permanent bricklayers in the Dublin area. When work on a site has been completed, these workers are placed on temporary lay-off regardless of length of service.
The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of the bricklayers that the selection criteria for lay-off should be based on length of service with the Company.
The Company states that the claim is unreasonable, given the nature of the industry.
Local discussions could not resolve the issue.
The dispute was the subject of two conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission held on the 1st of September, 2000 and on the 27th of November, 2000. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour
Court on the 12th of January, 2001 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th of May, 2001.
3. 1. Currently the Company has full control when selecting workers for lay-off. The relevant shop stewards are informed but not consulted when lay-offs are being considered.
2. There has been instances where workers have been laid off and not taken back on when work becomes available.
3. An agreed system should be established where the selection criteria will be based on length of service with the Company, a minimum of two weeks' notice given before the lay-off takes place and a commitment to re-employ workers as soon as work becomes available.
4. 1. Length of service with the Company is a factor when placing workers on lay-off but it is not the only factor. Overall work performance and attendance are also taken into account.
2. The Company operates a fair, reasonable and transparent system regarding the selection of workers for lay-off. When lay-offs are being considered the relevant shop stewards are informed.
3. The claim is unreasonable given the nature of the industry.
The Court has given careful consideration to the issue in dispute. The dispute referred by the Union is the issue of the selection criteria in the event of lay-off. The Union seeks to have employees selected on the basis of their length of service, subject to certain criteria. It also seeks a minimum of two weeks notice before a lay off takes place and a commitment to re-employ as soon as possible. The Company indicated that it operated in accordance with the criteria laid down in the Registered Employment Agreement.
The Court is of the view that the selection criteria for lay-off and priorities for call back do not seem to have caused a major problem; no particular difficulties were raised with management in the past.
The Court recommends that the parties should formalise the criteria and priorities currently in operation and agree terms for the future. The Court recommends that the Union representative should be advised of any proposed lay-offs and any particular problems arising should be raised with management.
The Court is of the view that the commitment given by the Company, that a minimum of one week's notice will be given in all cases, is reasonable.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th June, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.