INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. 1. Relocation of personnel & payroll functions and 2. Disclosure of financial accounts.
2. The Company produces bottled water at its plant in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. In 1993, the Cantrell and Cochrane Group acquired the Company and since then a number of functions including the Payroll and Human Resource functions were centralised to Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union that the Human Resource and Payroll Departments be located at Newcastle West as opposed to Clonmel and that the Company accounts from 1994 to 2000 be made available to the workforce. The issue could not be resolved at local level.
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission held on the 8th of January, 2001. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 2nd of May, 2001, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 31st of October, 2001, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
Relocation of Payroll and Human Resource Functions
3. 1. The absence of on site Payroll and Human Resource Departments has contributed to the deterioration of industrial relations in the Company.
2. The Payroll and Human Resource functions should be relocated on site in order that routine issues can be dealt with easily and quickly.
Provision of Accounts
3. The Company accounts should be made available to the workforce. As part of the Company, they have an entitlement to such information.
Relocation of Payroll and Human Resources Functions
4. 1. The decision to centralise a number of functions to Clonmel was necessary to ensure the future viability of the Company.
2. A payroll system is now in place which ensures that employees receive their pay on time.
3. Human Resource services are not limited to a one day monthly visit.
Provision of Account
4. Accounts for the Cantrell and Cochrane Group are published annually and are not published for individual business units.
Claim 1 -Relocation of HR Functions.
It is noted that the parties are committed to further discussions on the implementation of the report of the Advisory, Development and Research Service of the Labour Relations Commission. The Court recommends that any real or perceived difficulties in relation to the response of management to industrial relations and related issues should be addressed in the context of those discussions.
Claim 2 -Provision of Accounts.
It is noted that separate accounts are not published for individual business units within the overall parent group. For this reason, the Court cannot see any basis on which it could recommend concession of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th November, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.