INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SFL ENGINEERING LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal by the Company against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR3124/00/GF.
2. The Company employs seventy-five people of which fifty are hourly paid and comprise both skilled and semi-skilled trades. It is an engineering fabrication business which was established in 1979 and manufactures inter alia petrol station canopies.
The Union claims that some years ago one of its members, who was a semi-skilled employee, was put on the full skilled craft rate in recognition of the skilled work he was responsible for. He did not serve a recognised apprenticeship.
In 1999/2000 the Company and the Union concluded an agreement on a pay increase for craftworkers which introduced a five year incremental scale with a separate agreement for general operatives. The Union is seeking the restoration of pay parity for the claimant following the introduction of a new pay scale for craftsmen.
The Company rejected the Union's claim and stated that the agreement reached only applied to "time served craftsmen". The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. On the 15th March, 2001, the Rights Commissioner issued his Decision as follows:-
"The claimant has held a position of parity with the craftsmen for many years. The new scale is not skilled based but time based. I can see no reasons why his relationship should be disturbed, therefore, I recommend in favour of this claim."
On the 5th April, 2001 the Company appealed the Rights Commissioner's Decision to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal on the 25th September, 2001.
3. 1. The claimant is not a time served craftsman and as such the agreement cannot be said to apply to him.
2. The worker still has parity with the skilled rate, which is the agreement which was made in respect of his position at the time.
3. The original concession to the claimant which was intended to be a solution has now turned into a problem, with costs associated, which the Company cannot see
any justification for.
4. Concession of the claim could lead to knock-on claims.
4. 1. The worker has been employed for fourteen years by the Company and has enjoyed the full entitlements of a craftworker.
2. With his years of service in the Company, the claimant should be placed on the highest increment of the new pay scale for craftsmen.
3. Concession of the claim would be minimal. The Company should also "red circle" the claimant for the future.
Having considered the submissions of the parties to this dispute the Court believes that the Company should implement the increase recommended by the Rights Commissioner provided that the Union agrees that the claimant can undertake all craft work within the scope of the craft grade
With the proviso referred to above the appeal is disallowed and the Recommendation of the Rights Commissioner is affirmed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd October, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.