INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
RED SAIL FROZEN FOODS
(REPRESENTED BY TULLY & DUFFY SOLICITORS)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Alleged failure to implement 2% adjustment of the P.P.F. and second phase of the P.P.F. i.e. 5.5%.
2. There are 120 staff employed by the Company at its fish-processing factory in Co Louth, all are members of the Union. The dispute relates to two claims by the Union, the first is for the implementation of the 2% special increase under the amendment of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, to all basic rates and piecework rates as and from the 1st of April, 2001. The other is seeking the implementation of the 5.5% increase under the second phase of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, to all basic rates of pay and piece work rates as and from the date due 1st August, 2001.
- The Union referred both cases to the Labour Relations Commission in an effort to arrange a Conciliation Conference. Both the Company and their representatives refused to confirm a date. As no date could be agreed, the Union then referred both cases to the Labour Court under Section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in Dundalk, Co Louth on the 1st of November, 2001. The Company did not attend the hearing or supply a written submission.
3. 1. The Union have made several attempts to meet with the Company, but did not receive any response from them.
2. The Union tried to have the matter resolved under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission but the Company refused to confirm a date or co-operate with the Commission.
3. The Company refused to respond to any communications from the Union.
4. As 60/70% of the workforce is on piece work all the time, they would not receive any increase, unless it applied to their piece work rates.
5 In normal times, piece work rates would be reviewed on an annual basis and would not automatically be increased in line with annual basic wage.
The employer did not attend the hearing and, therefore, the only information before the Court is that presented by the Union.
The Court is concerned at the apparent deterioration in the relationship between the employer and the Union over a period of time. The Labour Relations Commission's proposals, accepted by both parties, in relation to a previous dispute in December, 2000, recommended both parties to avail of the Commission's Advisor Service to assist in improving the industrial relations in the Company. The Court is surprised that this assistance has not been availed of by the parties and would entreat both sides to accept this proposal.
On the dispute before it, the Court recommends that the parties enter into immediate discussions in order to resolve the matter, these discussions to be completed within 3 weeks of the date of the recommendation.
If they fail to reach agreement, the Court will have no alternative but to issue a definitive recommendation based on the information supplied by the Union.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th November, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.