INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
RENAULT MOTORS DRUMCONDRA
(REPRESENTED BY GORE & GRIMES SOLICITORS)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Increase in rate and procedure for review.
2. The Company is part of the Citygate Motor Group. The worker has been employed for 4 years. He is paid a basic salary of €15,770 plus commission for selling cars. The Union claims that the worker has not received an increase to his basic salary, and is seeking an 18% increase that would be due under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) plus 2% that it claims the worker lost due to management's revised charges.
The worker referred his case to the Labour Court on the 26th of March, 2002, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th of June, 2002. The worker agreed to be bound by the Courts' recommendation.
3. 1. Whilst workshop staff (mechanics) received increases associated with the PPF the worker's potential earnings from commission were reduced by 10%.
2. The Company introduced revised charges relating to the worker's commission which would have an adverse effect on his earnings. There was no agreement or consultation with him.
4. 1. The worker receives a basic salary which is at least as good as that paid in other Dublin car dealerships. He also receives daily lunch expenses, free mobile phone, company car and petrol money, something unheard of for a sales consultant in the motor industry.
2. Sales consultants can earn up to 400% of their basic salary as a complete package including commission and bonuses. The worker did receive an increase in his basic salary in 1999.
3. The Company is the only Dublin dealer that pays up to 25% commission without any restriction.
The Court notes that the remuneration package of the claimant, whilst standard in the motor sales sector, is unusual by normal standards in that basic pay is a minor component of total pay. Nonetheless, the Court believes that some mechanism should exist by which the basic pay element will be periodically reviewed. In the absence of any other agreed or established arrangement, the Court believes that the appropriate mechanism should be the pay agreements associated with National Programmes.
The Court notes the Company's understanding that the terms on which the motor industry accepted the PPF (and other similar agreements) was that only technical staff are encompassed by its pay provisions. However, no evidence of any such agreed interpretation of the agreement was furnished to the Court.
It is noted that the claimant did receive a pay increase in 1999, which appeared to have been acceptable at that time. Consequently, the Court does not consider that a claim for retrospection on National Agreement up to that time is sustainable.
The Court recommends that the claimant be paid the increases provided for by PPF, the first phase to apply 12 months from the date on which the 1999 increase was paid.
With regard to the claim for loss of earnings arising from changes in commission payments, the Court recommends that if there is an actual diminution in earnings on a year on year basis, the parties should have negotiations on a once-off compensation arrangement.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th June, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.