INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
C & C IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. (1) Claim for fixed payment allowance. (2) Meal allowance.
2. The dispute concerns the re-deployment of two drivers into the warehouse under the terms of a Company/Union restructuring agreement. The Union states that the claimants have been treated less favourably than other workers employed in the warehouse. The Company has refused to give them fixed payments and has also refused to compensate them for the loss of their meal allowance. The Union claims that management has failed to treat these workers in a fair manner consistent with settlements which have gone before.
Management rejected the Union's claim.
As no agreement was possible between the parties, the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 28th August, 2002 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 17th September, 2002, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 5th December, 2002.
3. 1.The only compensation received by the claimants was a "once off" payment of £3,500 (€4,444.08) for change in hours and work practices.
2. The changes in work practices and working time by the claimants were much more drastic than those of the warehouse and factory operatives.
3. The operatives concerned in this case are the last for which claims of this nature can be submitted and any fixed payment red circled as per all other employees.
4. Management should treat the claimants in a fair manner and consistent with settlements which have gone before.
4. 1. The Company can see no justification for the claim. The workers' earnings have
increased significantly since transferring to the distribution area.
2. A fixed bonus that had been in place was consolidated on a "red circle" basis for 41 long-term distribution and operations employees. The claimants in this case were not in this group as they were employed as drivers.
3. There is no loss of earnings for the workers involved in this claim when comparing the old driver's weekly rate with current earnings.
4. The workers concerned were given the opportunity to transfer under the same terms as they had in the transport section in Kylemore Road, to a new transport site in Nangor Road, but they refused.
4. 1. The Company should compensate the claimants for the loss of the meal allowance as a result of their redeployment to the warehouse.
2. In LCR15044, the Court has given recognition to the fact that the discontinuation of meal allowances has been compensated for in the past.
3. The Union is seeking compensation of three times the annual loss for the claimants concerned.
5. 1. There is no substance to this claim. Meal allowances are paid to off-site employees to cover subsistence expenses incurred while driving. As warehouse operatives, these men no longer incur subsistence expenses and have access to a canteen facility.
2. Following Labour Court Recommendation LCR16715, the claimants agreed to move to the warehouse and in doing so accepted the terms and conditions agreed with warehouse and operational staff with a significant increase in income and improved terms and conditions.
3. The claimants, along with their colleagues, received payments in 1996 and 2000 in return for accepting restructuring changes. The Company has met all its obligations in a fair manner and in accordance with normal local and national agreements.
Fixed Payment Allowance:
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions is not satisfied that the claimants have been treated in a less favourable manner than employees engaged in previous settlements. The Court, therefore, does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
In the claim for loss of meal allowance the Court has been shown no evidence to substantiate the management claim that it was part of an agreement and therefore bought out. The Court finds that there is a case to be answered on this claim and recommends that the parties meet to try to reach an agreement.
If they fail to reach agreement, this matter can be referred back to the Court for a definitive recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th December, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.