INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
LAOIS COUNTY COUNCIL
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Disturbance payment.
2. The dispute concerns the payment of disturbance for the relocation of staff to a new machinery yard facility in Portlaoise. In 1998, the employer decided to relocate its machinery yard from the town to a site 3 miles away. This decision was communicated to the Union. The building was completed in 2001, and the Union informed the employer that the workers would be seeking £5,000 (€6,350) disturbance for each employees involved. The employer made an offer of €317.43 (£250) as a goodwill gesture. There are 42 employees involved in this claim.
As no agreement could be reached locally, the matter was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. Two conciliation conferences were held on the 23rd of August, 2002, and the 30th of August, 2001. As no progress was made, the matter was referred to the Labour Court on the 25th of September, 2001. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 19th of February, 2002, in Portlaoise.
3. 1. The distance between the original and the new site is three to three and a half miles and would put 20 - 30 minutes extra on the working day.
2. The additional distance would involve additional mileage.
3. The sale of the original site has realised circa £1.5m (€1.9m) and this is additional money to the Council unlike and distinct from the funding provided by Government.
4. The Council did not have to foot the bill for the new facility. The contention is that the National Roads Authority strongly supported the £1.3m (€1.65m) venture through significant grant assistance.
5. The Council invited the Union to submit a compensation figure.
4. 1. The employer is satisfied that the offer made constitutes a significant offer.
2. There are 42 claimants involved in the claim and the employer is aware that the vast majority of individuals will not be inconvenienced in any way by the move.
3. The new facility will offer a significant improvement in the working environment of the employees.
4. The Union have failed to justify their claim for such a large amount.
5. The Union have signed up to the Local authority modernisation process in the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness and, therefore, have already been paid for this move.
Having regard to the submissions of the parties, the Court recommends that the Council's offer be improved to one of €500 per employee affected.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1st March, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.