INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ATWELL HOLDINGS, THOMAS READ GROUP
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Application of an agreement.
2. The dispute concerns the Union's claim for the application of the terms of the Extended Hours Agreement to two workers employed as barman and supervisor respectively. The Company holds the franchise to operate the bars in Dublin airport and employs 75 workers there. The two claimants were originally employed by Air Rianta, then by Select Services Partners in 1983 and by Atwell Holdings (The Thomas Read Group) in 1999. They have been 'red-circled' since transferring from Aer Rianta and enjoy more favourable pay terms and conditions of employment than their colleagues. Following negotiations in March and September, 2000, workers agreed to the new pay terms set out in the Extended Hours Agreement which allows for the payment of a composite rate which incorporated the following:-
A 10% shift allowance.
Premium payments (TI/2) for hours worked between 12.00p.m. and 2 a.m.
A 25 % premium payment for rostered hours before 7.00a.m. or after 12.p.m.
The Union's claim was rejected by the Company. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 8th of February, 2001, but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 25th of April, 2001. The
dispute was received in the Court on the 25th of April, 2001. A Court hearing was held on the 18th of June, 2001.
3. 1. The composite rate should be extended to the two workers as they are part of the staff complement working in the bar and as such should benefit from the Company/Union agreement pay terms. The 'red-circled' terms for the two workers should also be maintained. The Company did not raise the 'red-circling' arrangements applicable to the two workers during negotiations.
4. 1. Pay levels in the industry and within the THOMAS READ GROUP have increased substantially over the last year and other workers in the employment are catching up on the previously higher rate of pay enjoyed by the claimants. The Union's claim seeks to maintain a differential between the claimants and other employees. While the personal terms and conditions of the claimants are clearly documented, no provision exists for the preservation of any differential to pay.
2. Both workers, though 'red-circled', receive all pay increases under the National Pay Agreements.
3. When negotiating agreements, Management must ensure that any changes to employment are fair and equitable and are applied in the same fashion. Through both sets of negotiations held in March, and September, 2000, all workers, including the claimants were moved to new positions or stayed as they were, depending on the benchmark used and their personal arrangements. To treat the claimants differently would not be equitable to other groups of workers.
4. This is a cost-increasing claim and is prohibited under Clause 9 of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
The Court is satisfied that the agreement covering the two individuals associated with this claim provides that their rate of pay and conditions of employment will be maintained at the level which would have applied to them had the transfer of undertakings not occurred. There is no provision in the agreement which could be interpreted as meaning that a particular differential be maintained between the pay of the two individuals concerned and that of their colleagues.
The Court does not accept that the Company has acted contrary to the agreement on red-circling and for that reason does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th June, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.