INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BUS ATHA CLIATH
- AND -
ICTU TRADE UNION GROUP
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Payment for working on new articulated buses.
2. The Unions have submitted a claim for the payment of £2, 000 (2, 539.48 Euro) on behalf of twenty-five craft workers. It is seeking the same payment as that paid to engineering operatives following the introduction of the new articulated buses.
- The Company rejected the claim. It states that an agreement was concluded with the craft workers in April, 2000 which provided for productivity improvements and changes in work practices. It claims that the Unions agreed that craft workers would co-operate with the introduction of the articulated buses. A similar agreement was concluded with the engineering operative grade.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 13th June, 2001 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 12th November, 2001 under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 8th January, 2002. UNIONS' ARGUMENTS:
3. 1. The Unions are seeking the payment of £2, 000 (2, 539.48 Euro) for craft workers, similar to that given to the engineering operative grade.
2. The craft workers are responsible for the maintenance of the new articulated buses. The stress on these workers is far greater than that for the engineering operatives.
3. The craft workers are merely seeking to be treated equally and fairly on the same basis as their colleagues in the engineering operative grade.
4. The clause in the Craft Agreement allowed for the co-operation by the craft workers for the introduction of the articulated buses on a trial basis. This clause has
been complied with in full by the craft workers.
5. The Engineering Operative Agreement was entered into before the Company decided to purchase the new articulated buses.
4. 1. The craft workers agreement under the Company's Strategy for Investment and Competitiveness programme provided for a substantial wage increase of 20% for craft workers, in return for productivity improvements and changes in work practices.
2. Section 2 and Section 11 of the Craftworkers Agreement allows for craft workers to work on articulated buses.
3. The claim breaches the long standing principle that no payment is made to craft workers for the introduction of new technology.
4. Any concession of this claim will lead to knock-on claims.
5. The claim is cost increasing and is precluded under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
The employer in rejecting this claim has argued that it is in breach of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, in that it is a cost-increasing claim.
While written and oral submissions were made by both sides on the wider issues involved in the case, the Court having considered the employer's arguments in relation to the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness is satisfied that this is a cost increasing claim and that it is prohibited under the terms of the agreement.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th January, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.