INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
GLANBIA INGREDIENTS VIRGINIA
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Productivity payment.
2. The Company is part of Glanbia Plc. which resulted from the merger of Avonmore Foods and Waterford Foods in late 1997. The Company is an indigenous Company with its head office in Kilkenny and employes 4,000 staff in Ireland. The ingredients plant in Cavan, manufacturers cream base for Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur and formulated milk powders for export.
In February, 1999, a claim was lodged for harmonisation of pay and conditions between Avonmore Foods and Waterford Foods in the wake of the merger, by a joint SIPTU and ATGWU forum. The Company agreed to enter talks in March 1999. In November, 2000, the Labour Relations Commission had brokered an agreement to the satisfaction of all parties except SIPTU Virginia, Co Cavan.
In October, 2000, the Union approached the Company to see if there were options to explore productivity measures that could be gain-shared. The Company agreed to this and engaged a consultant to look at certain areas and make recommendations for productivity changes in each area where the 60 SIPTU employees worked. Little progress was made and the Union rejected all proposals tabled.
The dispute was the subject of four conciliation conferences on the 31st of January, the 12th of February, the 2nd of March, and the 24th of May, 2001, under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As no agreement could be reached, the matter was referred to the Labour Court on the 27th of July, 2001, under Section 26(1)(a)(b) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in Cavan on the 2nd of November, 2001.
3. 1. Union members are extremely angry and disgruntled that their claim has taken 4 years to progress.
2. The Company showed great ingenuity in securing a productivity agreement with the TEEU.
3. The TEEU/Company agreement involved a 14% reduction in manning levels and delivered an 18.75% pay increase in addition to the 5.5% first round payment under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness. The Company is also seeking a 14% reduction in manning levels and members feel that his, in conjunction with the productivity changes the Union is offering should secure Union members an equally favourable pay increase.
4. The workers have shown great flexibility in attempting to conclude this agreement, their attempts have been hampered by the Company's insistence upon the introduction of testing by General Operatives amongst other issues.
4. 1. The claim is outside the bounds of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
2. The Union have failed to offer any real productivity in talks that they themselves requested and never produced a document as to what they were willing to agree to.
3. The Union has refused to meet the Company half way when the Company tried to breach the gap by means of an annualised hours salary system and straight increases.
4. While the site is profitable both the foot and mouth crisis earlier this year and the general slowing economic environment have impacted to reduce profitability.
Following the adjournment of the Court hearing to enable the parties to clarify the issues in dispute, the Court has been presented with documentation outlining the current position.
It is clear that major differences exist between the parties in relation to the value of the productivity items listed, the Union valuing theirs at £423,500 (537734.07 Euro) and the Company valuation being £124,500 (158082.39 Euro).
The Company has indicated at the Court hearing that it would be prepared to meet the claim, if it was self-funded.
In order to deal with this claim, the Court recommends that the parties appoint a third party to examine and evaluate the listed productivity items.
If agreement is not reached at that stage, the Court will on request make a definitive recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd January, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.