INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CLARKE CHAPMAN LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
UNION OF CONSTRUCTION, ALLIED TRADES AND TECHNICIANS
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Review of pay rates.
2. The dispute concerns 2 craft workers (bodybuilders) and a joiner/welder. In early 2000, the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) entered a claim for the application of the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC)/Construction Industry rates of pay for the technical/mechanical workers in the Company.
In June, 2001, at a conciliation conference with the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), an agreement was reached with the TEEU which involved a range of productivity measures. However, there is some dispute as to whether the agreement included the 3 workers involved in the present claim. Following further discussions the Company decided to include the 3 workers and offered €12.23 to the welder and €11.43 (plus bonus) to the 2 bodybuilders. The Unions rejected the offer and are seeking
€14.32 for the 2 bodybuilders and €15.12 for the welder.
The dispute was the subject of a number of conciliation conferences. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th of June, 2002.
3. 1. The Company had previously made an offer to the 3 workers which was greater than that made in June 2001.
2. The TEEU was making a claim on behalf of the electricians only. The 3 workers concerned were not part of that agreement.
4. 1. The Company reached an agreement in June, 2001, with the TEEU because it sought a number of flexibility/productivity measures from its members. It was not seeking same from the 3 workers concerned but made an offer to them to conclude the deal.
2. The claim is precluded by the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) as it is cost-increasing.
3. There has been a substantial reduction in the availability of work for the 2 bodybuilders since June, 2001, and this has resulted in a loss for the Company.
The Court notes that the claim as presented is for the alignment of the rate of pay applicable to the three workers concerned with that of craft workers in the construction industry. There is, however, no evidence of any prior linkage between their pay and the construction rate. For this reason, the Court does not recommend that the claim be conceded.
The Court further believes that the implementation of the agreement arrived at in conciliation should not be further delayed and should now be accepted by those associated with this claim.
Notwithstanding the above, it is clear to the Court that certain expectations were created amongst the three craft workers concerned arising from the negotiation on a claim by another craft group within the employment. These negotiations were, however, based on productivity and flexibility which appears to have rendered the resultant agreement cost neutral. In the Court's view, the parties should explore the possibility of identifying tangible cost-saving measures which could be conceded by those associated with this claim. Any such measures identified could be used to further enhance their pay on the same basis as applied in the case of the other group.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th June, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.