INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HITECH ELECTRONICS LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Redundancy terms.
2. The Company has been designing and manufacturing specialist electronic components for the telecommunications and other applications since 1983. The Company sells its products mainly to multinational customers in Ireland and Europe.
This case concerns some 30 employees of the Company. The Company is based in Mountbellew, County Galway. Some workers have been on a 3-day working week since last November, and others have been on lay-off since February . The Union is seeking agreement on the provision of a severance package by the Company in the event that this becomes a redundancy situation.
Discussion took place locally but no agreement was reached. The matter was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 15th of May, 2002.
As no agreement could be reached, the matter was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th of July, 2002, in Galway.
4. 1. The Company has stated on numerous occasions that it is unable to address the Union's claims.
2. Some of the workers have long service - 20 years and over - and all of them have helped the Company to survive by adapting to 3-day working and many of them facilitated the Company by taking unpaid leave last summer. This service and loyalty should be recognised by the Company.
3. All redundancy settlements in the Galway (Ballinasloe Branch) in recent years have been in the region of 5/6 week's pay per year of service and this colours the members' expectations.
4. The workers have been at a severe financial loss over the past 12 months either because of the 3-day week and / or lay-off since February 02. A closure without a reasonable severance package will only aggravate an already difficult situation.There is no other factory or possible employer in the town, so the loss will be keenly felt.
3. 1. The Company has suffered a severe downturn in its business over the past fifteen months, with sales declining from €240,000 per month in January, 2001, to
€43,000 in June, 2002, mainly due to the continuing severe recession in the world telecommunications industry.
2. The Company has undertaken a major market and product diversification programme to overcome its present problems, but it is finding market penetration difficult in the present electronics business climate.
3. The financial state of the Company has deteriorated seriously over the past year and the Company is now dependent on the ongoing financial support of the shareholders to sustain it on weekly basis.
4. Any extra financial burden imposed on the business would not be acceptable to the shareholders and would lead to closure.
Having considered all aspects of this case, the Court recommends that the Company offer and that the Union accepts a redundancy package of 3 week's pay per year of service, inclusive of statutory entitlements, plus an additional €100 per year of service.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
29th July, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.