INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CARNAUD METAL BOX LIMITED.
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Restoration of pay parity with Craftsmen
2. The Company is situated in Athy, Co. Kildare and manufactures tin cans for milk powders and related products. The cans are manufactured to customers' specifications on a "just in time" basis to ensure that there are no excess cans taking up storage space. There are currently 26 employees, 21 in SIPTU and 5 craftsmen in the TEEU.
In 2001, as a result of the absence of an engineer, the Company reached agreement with the 5 TEEU members that they would work together to co-ordinate the engineering function and provide overtime cover in return for a weekly overtime premium based on clocked basic hours worked. The Company maintains that the basic pay rate was not increased. In June, 2001, an agreement was reached between SIPTU and the Company (details supplied to the Court). The Union's claim is that the deal with the TEEU has destroyed a long-standing differential that existed between the 2 groups of workers. Whereas before the deal the differential was approximately 20%, it is now 73% to 76% in overall pay rates. The Union wants the differential restored.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and conciliation conferences took place on the 2nd of August and the 6th of September, 2001. As agreement could not be reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 9th of January, 2002.
3. 1. The deal negotiated between the Company and the TEEU brought the basic rate of the craftsmen to euro 11.78 per hour which, combined with the guaranteed overtime payment, gives them euro 17.65 per hour. The SIPTU workers only earn euro 9.86 per hour.
2. The workers have given maximum co-operation and flexibility. The Company has done a deal with a minority of staff to the detriment of the SIPTU workers. The differential should be restored.
4. 1. It is not unusual for a company to have a separate arrangement with its maintenance personnel. Due to the nature of the work, it is not possible to have a similar arrangement with the plant operatives.
2. Within a few weeks of signing an agreement in June, 2001, the Union clearly breached it by taking unofficial industrial action, causing problems for the Company and its customers.
3. Despite what the Union believes, the basic rate of pay for the TEEU workers has not increased.
The Court, having considered the information presented by the parties, is satisfied that the arrangement entered into with the maintenance personal was a productivity deal that included de-layering and was specific to this group. While the basic rate did not change, an overtime premium was agreed.
The Company has indicated it does not have a similar requirement for such an agreement with the plant operative group.
Given this situation, the Court is not in a position to recommend concession of the Union claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd January, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.