INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
RYE VALLEY FOODS
IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. (I) Payment for New Technology, (II) Payment for breaks.
2. The Company is located in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan and is part of the Kerry Group. It is involved in the manufacture of frozen ready-made meals and breaded products for the domestic and international market, and employs 650 people.
There are two areas in dispute before the Court (i) payment for new technology and
(ii) payment for breaks. The Court issued an Interim Recommendation on 2nd July,
2002, in relation to point (i) payment for new technology.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 26th April, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in
Dundalk on the 27th June, 2002.
Payment for Meal Breaks
3. 1. The Company introduced a Warehouse computerised system which meant extra training as the new system was more sophisticated than that already in use.
2. With the introduction of the new technology the workers had to operate a staggered break system to ensure the smooth operation of the system.
3. There are different rosters for different lines of shift work. The night shift do not always get the required 39 hours unless they stay on after finishing time on Saturday morning.
4. The suggestion of examining ways of staggering breaks as a way of reducing the cost of implementing paid breaks was rejected by the Company.
4. 1. There is no legal requirement under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 to pay for breaks.
2. The claim for paid breaks is a cost increasing claim which is precluded under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
3. A proposal has been put forward that will facilitate the possibility of achieving 39 hours pay over all three shifts.
4. A Defined Benefit Pension Scheme is being introduced which represents a significant cost to the company.
5. Over €30 million has been invested in order to protect and secure jobs by modernisation and expansion
Two issues were referred to the Court by the Union:-
- Claim for regrading as a result of the introduction of an integrated business system including the use of hand held scanners in the stores area and the BCH (cookers operation).
- Claim for payment for meal breaks for shift workers.
The Court issued Labour Court Recommendation No LCR17191 on this issue.
Payment for Meal Breaks
The Court notes that, to address this claim, the Company proposed to alter the shift rosters so as to ensure that all workers have the opportunity to work and be paid for 39 hours per week. The Court recommends that further discussion should be held between the parties. With a view to addressing the Union's claim for the payment of meal breaks, the Court recommends that these discussions should examine (i) the possibility of eliminating one of the overlap times per shift, and (ii) the Union's offer to introduce staggered breaks so as to maintain continuous production, and (iii) the Company's proposal to modify the rosters.
In the event that agreement cannot be reached, the parties may refer the issue back to the Court for a definitive recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th August, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Caroline Hayes, Court Secretary.