INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TESCO IRELAND LTD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Profit sharing, long service increments, rates of pay, shift arrangement & payments, overtime for annual leave, pensions, CPM, cooked/uncooked meats, flexibility.
2. The dispute concerns the Unions' claim for improvements in various aspects of the terms and conditions of employment on behalf of approximately 10,000 workers employed in the Company's retail outlets in Ireland.
Summary of issues in dispute
Long Service increments
Rates of Pay
Shift Pay and Shift arrangement
Holiday Pay - composition of same
Improvements in Pension Provisions.
C.P.M. (pre-packed Meat).
Cooked /uncooked meats
The dispute was the subject of two conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement could not be reached the matter was referred to the Labour Court on 10th of October 2000 under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 2nd February 2001.
3. 1. Most of the claims are on the agenda for more than 12 months. 2. Tesco operates a very successful profit sharing scheme for its UK employees. 3. Because of the high turn over of staff in the Retail Trade, the ability of the employer to retain a core of skilled and experienced staff is more vital than ever. 4. Staff are being discriminated against by the existence of a two tier pay scale. 5. The Company's hourly rates of pay are considerably less than its main competitor. 6. The workers should be treated as shift workers and paid accordingly. 7. All regular payments and/or rostered overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay.
8. Pensionable salary is currently based on the average salary of the last three years. The Unions are seeking that pension be based on the salary of the last year's service.
4. 1. Mandate's collective agreement of 1999 and SIPTU's agreement, which embodies L.R.C.16357, are unambiguous in relation to pay in that both clearly provided for a review of the stores against the pay scales in October ,2001. 2. Any concessions of the Unions' claim would condone the Unions' disregard for collective agreements, would set an unacceptable precedent and potentially lead to other Unions' disregarding their commitments within their collective agreements with the Company. 3. The Unions' claim to further improve pay rates is clearly a cost increasing claim with no opportunity for the Company to off set the costs involved. This claim is prohibited by the cost stabilisation clauses of Partnership 2000 and the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness. 4. The 10 years service increment attracts normal wage round increases and the Company maintain there is no basis in further increasing this specific rate of pay. 5. The issue of Profit sharing and any other form of financial involvement is strictly governed by Partnership 2000 and the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness. 6. The collective agreements of 1996 and 1997 provide for comprehensive arrangements in respect of extended trading and working hours.
The Court has considered the respective positions of the parties as outlined in their submissions and in the course of the hearings. The Court has also had the opportunity of meetings with the parties separately in side session over the course of its investigation, during which their positions were further elaborated.
The Court has been unable to identify any substantial common ground between the parties on which a settlement of the dispute could be developed. Given the extent of the gap between the parties and this absence of common ground, the Court has reluctantly reached the conclusion that any definitive recommendation, which it could make at this stage, would not advance the resolution of the dispute.
The Court, therefore, recommends that the parties resume discussion in a further attempt to refine the issues between them and to explore further the possibility of developing some common approach on how those issues should be resolved.
The Court does, however, strongly urge that those issues relating to business change which were settled in the Building our Future Agreement should be implemented. The Court notes that the Company is anxious to commence discussion on the 2% increase recently agreed as part of the PPF.
The parties should consider prioritising this matter in their resumed discussions.
The Court will continue to be available to the parties should they feel that its services would be of assistance to them.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th March, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.