INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Payment rates in test and repair section.
2. The Company was established in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick in 1981. It manufactures automotive electronic components for the European automotive industry. It currently employes approximately five hundred production operators. In 1994, the Test and Repair department of the Company was disbanded. An agreement was reached with the six operators affected that they would retain their basic rate of pay on a "red-circled" basis.
In 2001, the Company re-established the Test and Repair centre and transferred twenty six operators which included the six operators who were "red-circled" in 1994 into the centre. The Union's claim is on behalf of twenty operators for the same rate of pay as the six "red-circled" operators as they are doing the same work. The Company rejects the claim.
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 11th of February, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 12th of June, 2002, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The Company re-established the Test and Repair centre and moved twenty six operators into the centre without consultation or agreement with the Union.
2. The workers concerned are doing exactly the same work as their six counterparts. They should receive the same basic pay with retrospection from March, 2001.
4. 1. Under the current system all fault finding analysis, which was originally carried out by test and repair operators is now being carried out by qualified technicians.
2. The claim cannot be conceded as it would have very serious cost implications and industrial relations consequences.
The Court notes that the grade of Test and Repair Operator was abolished by agreement in 1994. Whilst the grade was abolished, the function was to continue on the basis that it would be carried out by production operatives paid at the appropriate rate for that grade.
In the Court's view, the mere fact that the location within the plant at which this work is carried out has changed could not offset the agreement of 1994. Accordingly, the Court does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th June, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.