INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
NUMICO IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY MANAGEMENT RESOURCE INSTITUTE)
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Terms for restructuring and rationalisation.
2. The claim is on behalf of 60 workers employed in the Company's plant in Wexford. The Company has a second plant in Macroom. The dispute concerns a proposal by the Company involving redundancies, re-structuring and new technology. The workers concerned are involved in the production, packing and laboratory areas of the Company. The Union is seeking the following:
(a) An increase of 10% of basic pay for all employees to reflect the overall impact of the changes.
(b) The establishment of a new grade for bulk production operators in light of the changes in specific duties and responsibilities which are as a result of the changes in plant and equipment and staffing levels.
(c) Establishment of a 26% premium rate for the proposed 7-day, 12-hour rota and the retention of the 35% premium for cover operators.
(d) Full implementation of the Macroom rate for laboratory employees, and a review of wages by comparison with equivalent companies.
(e) Elimination of the differential for packing employees.
In January, 2002, the Company made a number of proposals, including the following: £25 (€31.74) be transferred from bonus to basic pay for all personnel: an extra lead-in payment of £500 (€634.87) would be made to personnel who would remain on the current shift pattern; an additional £100 (€126.97) would apply to those moving to the 12- hour day pattern (previously, 6 employees had worked a 4-shift of 12-hour working days and nights). All workers, other than those opting for redundancy, were offered a lead-in payment of £200 (€253.95). The offer was not acceptable to the Union.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and 3 conciliation conferences took place, the last on the 29th of January, 2002. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 7th of February, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 5th of March, 2002, in Wexford.
3. 1. The Company's proposals, particularly its unwillingness to provide an ongoing percentage increase, are unreasonable. The proposals will represent major cost savings to the Company. Transferring part of the bonus to basic pay is not appropriate or adequate.
2. The workers have been involved in various agreements over the years which have been essential to the survival of the plant. Such agreements have included acceptance of a 12.5% pay cut in 1996, and agreement on a special pay structure for the operatives in the packing department.
4. 1. The proposed changes, which are accepted as necessary by the Union, are to ensure stability and long-term competitiveness. At present, the overall costs are uncompetitive.
2. The transfer of £25 (€31.74) from the bonus to basic pay represents an increase of approximately 1.5% and is the maximum that can be made.
3. The Union's claim is outside the conditions of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
The Court, having given careful consideration to the submissions of the parties, is satisfied that the final position taken by the Company is reasonable overall. However, in the interest of achieving a final settlement, the Court recommends that the Company modify its position as follows:
1. A total of €40 should be transferred from the present bonus to basic pay.
2. The proposed lead-in payment of £500 (€634.87) should be increased to €900.
3. The proposed premium for the 7-day 12-hour rota should be increased to 20%.
The Company's final offer, as so modified, should then be accepted.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th March, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.