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 Flood
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Recognition payment for Euro changeover.
2. The Company operates 116 turf accountants shops in Ireland and employes approximately 550 staff, both full-time and part-time. 130 employees are represented by the Services Industrial Professional Technical Union. In June, 2001, the Union wrote to management seeking talks in respect of the Euro transition. Initially, local management indicated that they would not be in a position to respond until they had spoken with senior management in the United Kingdom.
On the 18th of December, 2001, the Employee Relations Manager advised the union of a decision to give staff vouchers to the value of €63.49 for 5 day staff and pro-rata for part-time staff. This was not acceptable to staff and an emergency meeting was held with the Company on the 21st of December, 2001, but no agreement could be reached. The matter was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 19th of September, 2001.
As no agreement could be reached, the matter was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 16th of May, 2002.
3. 1. The issue in dispute is the differences between the Company payment of €63.49 and the union claim of €317.45. The merit of the claim is not the issue.
2. A leading bookmaker in the Betting Industry paid €317.45 to its employees.
3. The Company insist that because non-union members accepted the Company offer, then union members should also accept the offer.
4. Union members are adamant that they will not have non-union members of staff deciding what is acceptable to Union members and what is not acceptable.
4. 1. The Company has applied in full all increases due under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
2. The Company strongly contends that this is a cost increasing claim and is specifically precluded under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
3. The concession of this claim would have repercussions across this and other sectors of business and would cost this Company €139,000.
4. The attempt by the union to compare the Company with one other bookmaker in the industry, which made a recognition payment of €317, is opportunistic and disingenuous.
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties, finds the employer's approach to be reasonable in the circumstances.
The Court, therefore, rejects the Union claim in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th May, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.