INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
HONEYCLOVER MEATS LTD.
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR799/99/GF.
2. The worker commenced employment in 1988 at the facility in Freshford, Co. Kilkenny. He was employed as a general operative. He was paid the "C" rate for this work. In 1991, the current owners purchased the plant. From 1991 to 1994, the worker was employed in the chill area and in the loading of beef. The Union claims that the worker should have been put on the "B" rate of pay at that time, but he continued to be paid the "C" rate of pay. The Union also claims that the worker has been discriminated against because he is no longer asked to work Saturday overtime on a regular basis as he had heretofore.
Management rejects the Union's claim. It states that the worker refused training to attain higher skills. The Company also states the worker is receiving his share of overtime.
The dispute was the subject of a Rights Commissioner's hearing which took place on the 9th February, 2001. The following is the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation:-
"I have given the case careful consideration and I am satisfied the claimant has developed the necessary skills to move to the "A" rate. There appears to have been a tacit recognition of that fact in 1998 but for a number of reasons the arrangement fell through. Therefore, I am recommending he be placed on the "A" rate from March 2001, and a payment of £3000.00 (3809.21 Euro) be made to deal with the claim for retrospection."
The Union appealed the Recommendation to the Labour Court on the 6th of March, 2001, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th of November, 2001.
3. 1. Most workers at the plant are on the "A" or "B" rates of pay. Only those starting in the plant or with very little service are on the "C" rate of pay.
2. The worker has been discriminated over the past ten years in relation to his rate of pay. He has been intimidated and harassed because of his role as a shop steward
in the Company.
3. The worker should be awarded £10,000 (12,697.38 Euro) in retrospection of
his claim for the "A" rate of pay.
4. The Company and the Rights Commissioner recognise that the claimant has a legitimate case.
4. 1. The Company rejects the allegations that the worker was harassed or intimidated. Also, he has received his fair share of the available overtime.
2. The Company made a verbal offer of £,1000 (1,269.74 Euro) lump sum and the application of the "A" rate but this was rejected by the worker.
3. At the Rights Commissioner's hearing on the 9th of February, 2001, a recommendation of a lump sum of £3,000 (3,809.21 Euro) plus the "A" rate of pay was accepted by the Company but rejected by the worker.
4. The Company has done all it can to resolve this dispute. As a goodwill gesture the Company has put the worker on the "A" rate of pay from the 12th of July, 2001.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court considers the conclusions and recommendations of the Rights Commissioner as a reasonable response to the Union's claim.
Accordingly , the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner is affirmed and the appeal is disallowed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th November, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.