INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Local productivity: ground operations loader/cleaner group in Shannon Airport.
2. The dispute concerns 130 ground operations staff in Shannon and is a claim for equitable treatment with their colleagues in Dublin and Cork. A claim for pay restructuring involving the 3 airports was the subject on Labour Court Recommendation (LCR)16683, and the present claim is for the implementation of the local pay element of that recommendation. The 3 airports have similar operative categories of staff. Both Dublin loaders and Cork operatives have concluded their own local negotiations which involved a range of upgradings and on-scale payments in exchange for flexibilities and productivities. The workers in Shannon wish to do the same and have produced a list of cost-saving measures in 3 sections (details supplied to the Court) which, they claim, will save the Company 23.2 'man years'. Based on a Company/Union split of 40/60, this equates to cost-savings accruable to each worker of £53.53 per week. The Company has stated that it is not interested in all of the measures that the Union has to offer.
One issue which is causing a problem for the Company is that of "porterage", which was the subject of LCR16806. The Company wishes to eliminate the porterage duties as they no longer form part of the airline's function. The Union is opposed to this. In LCR16806, the Court recommended that compensation of £3,000 (3809.12 Euros) should be paid to each worker for the elimination of porterage. To date, the workers have still not voted on LCR16806.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commissions and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 23rd of May, 2001, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 6th of June, 2001. At the hearing, the Company clarified that if LCR16806 was accepted in addition to savings already identified, it could offer upgradings and payments similar to Dublin and Cork. This would include the £3,000 per staff from LCR16806. Without acceptance of LCR16806, it could not make such an offer.
3. 1. The only operative group in the Company that made cost-saving concessions to the Company was the loaders/cleaners in Shannon. This amounted to an on-going cost-saving of 2 man years per annum, as jointly agreed by the parties. It would be unfair if this was the only group not to be rewarded.
2. The local pay element is not cost-increasing, in line with the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
3. The Union proposed a list of items to bridge the productivity requirements.
4. 1. Flexibilities must be reckonable as being of real value in order to fund the Union's claim. The Company is not prepared to include items on the agenda in which it has no long-term interest or which are of no benefit to the operation
2. Recent pay restructuring and follow-up claims have increased the average payrolls in Shannon by more than 34% in 2 years against a background of severe competition. Any agreement must be based on realistic improvements in flexibility and work practice changes.
The Company is prepared to make the same payments to the claimants as made in Dublin and Cork, subject to the same criteria as applied in these locations.
However, it appears that insufficient savings have been identified for the Company to make similar payments.
In the absence of agreed savings, the Company has indicated a willingness to pay the Dublin/Cork payments, subject to the claimants accepting LCR16806 and implementing the already identified savings.
While the Court has clarified that LCR16806 is a stand-alone proposal, the Court recommends that the claimants accept the Company proposal as a means of bridging the gap in productivity savings.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th June, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.