INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Discontinuation of the aircraft maintenance assistants (AMA's) breakfast allowance.
2. The dispute concerns the discontinuation from February, 2002 of a breakfast allowance to 3/4 AMAs in commuter line maintenance in Aer Lingus at Dublin Airport. The AMAs work with approximately 50 craft workers to form the commuter line maintenance department. The allowance dates back to 1990/1991 and was paid to both sets of workers. The payment, at the time it was discontinued, was €6.86 and it was paid to workers who worked a 6.00 a.m. shift. The Union's case is that, following direct negotiations with the Company, the craft workers secured a rostered duty allowance (RDA) payment which was virtually the same value as the breakfast allowance. The Union is now seeking that a similar payment be made to the AMAs.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 8th of August, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 24th of October, 2002.
3. 1. The breakfast allowance was introduced for both sets of workers in 1990/1991. The Union believes that there has been a breach of faith by the Company in the way it handled the situation.
2. The claim only concerns the AMAs. There will be no knock on effect.
3. The Company is forecasting huge profits for the year 2002. The cost to the Company of paying an allowance to the AMAs would be minimal (details supplied to the Court).
4. 1.The Company has been going through a very difficult time financially, following the foot and mouth outbreak and the events of September 11th. The discontinuation of the breakfast allowance was part of an agreed survival plan.
2.An offer of a once-off payment of €1,250 (18 months' compensation) was made to the AMAs at conciliation but was rejected.
3. The craft workers were paid the RDA that is appropriate to their grade and the AMAs continue to be paid the appropriate shift payment.
4. If the claim were to be conceded, there would inevitably be knock-on claims which the Company cannot afford.
The Court has considered the submissions of both parties. The Court recommends payment of two years' loss of the breakfast allowance to the Aircraft Maintenance Assistants, in full and final settlement of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th November, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.