INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Increase in shift premiums.
2. The Company, which is a subsidiary of an American Company, was set up in Cootehill in 1975 and employs 150 people. The Company produces infant nutritional products. On the 30th of June, 1999, the Union wrote to the Company and pointed out that a fixed night shift had been introduced and a fixed evening shift was about to be introduced without any negotiations. There are 9 people employed on the fixed night shift , attracting a 25% premium and 4 on the fixed evening shift attracting a 16.6% premium. Ninety per cent of those employed on the fixed shifts were new recruits.
The Union is seeking to increase premiums to 30% and 20% respectively. The matter was the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 28th of June, 2001. As no agreement could be reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court, on the 19th of September, 2001, under Section 26(1)(a)(b) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of November, 2001, in Cavan.
3. 1. Both shifts entail permanently working unsocial hours.
2. Local companies are reluctant to impose unsocial hours because of their unattractiveness, particularly for employees with family responsibilities and those who wish to pursue other interests outside their employment.
3. The cost to the Company would not be excessive as the claim only involves 13 of the 84 members.
4. 1. In December, 1998, the Company agreed with the Union, a 39 month agreement giving increases over 12% as against the 9.25% provided for under the P. 2000. Part of this agreement provided for no further claims of a cost increasing nature to be processed during the currency of this agreement. The agreement expired on the 30th of August, 2001, and the Company is in the process of negotiating a new agreement.
2. Any movement on the current shift premiums which are paid for fixed evening and night shift would cause serious repercussive claims from the other group of employees in the Plant, on different shift systems.
3. Shift premium rates paid in Cootehill for the fixed evening and fixed night shift are consistent with the rates which the Company pay in both the Donegal and Sligo plants.
4. The people who were recruited for the shifts were informed prior to either moving internally within the Company or recruited from outside, of the relevant premiums applicable.
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties does not recommend concession of the Union claim in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
13th November, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.