INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. 1. Non Payment of PPF. 2. Incremental Scale. 3. Overtime. 4. Shift Rate. 5. Service Pay. 6. Retirement Age.
2. Iralco Limited is engaged in the manufacture of parts for the automotive industry. The Company, which is based in Collinstown, Co Westmeath, is in operation since 1964 employing 560 people.
The dispute concerns the non-payment of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF), an incremental scale, overtime payment, shift rate, service pay and retirement age. The claim relates to Line Managers and Clerical Administrative staff, approximately 19 and 11, respectively. Prior to the hearing the Company put forward proposals in relation to overtime payment and shift rate.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 20th June, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in Athlone on the 15th October, 2002, the earliest date suitable to both parties.
UNION'S ARGUMENTS :
3. 1.In July/August, 2000, the Company sought a derogation from the workforce in relation to the payment of PPF on the grounds of cash flow. The accepted position following on from a joint Union Company meeting was 10% payment from 1st April, 2001 and 7.5% from 1st May, 2002. The derogation was to apply to all staff. The Company has not honoured, in full, the 7.5%.
2. The Union is against payment by means of individual assessment as it wishes to negotiate on its members terms and conditions.
3. The position currently in place by the Company on incremental scales has no structure, no transparency, no service pay, punctuality or attendance bonus is paid to some and not to others, and no appeal.
4. Line managers are not in receipt of service pay. Other unionised categories are paid service pay.
5. In 1998, when contracts were introduced to change the retirement age from 65 to 60 members believed that they would receive a full pension at 60.
COMPANY'S ARGUMENTS :
4. 1.The Company rejects the Union's claim for the application of the Programme
for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) on the basis that individuals who hold
supervisory/salaried positions have their pay reviewed by means of individual
assessment with their manager, as per custom and practice.
2. The Company wish to continue to pay individuals on their performance.
3. A proposal has been made to the Union on overtime and shift rates.
4. The Company is not willing to concede that individuals may retire at 60 with a
full pension valued at full service to 65 years. The situation
was made clear to individuals on signing the contract. The Company is willing
to allow affected individuals to revert back to working up to 65 years of age.
The Company informed the Court that it had the day before the hearing made proposals to the Union on two of the six claims listed, overtime and shift rates. The Court took submissions on the other four claims.
The Employer's case is that the remuneration of these employees are dealt with on an individual basis, in direct dealings with each individual. The Employer rejected the claims made under Non Payment of PPF, Incremental Scales and Service Pay on the basis that these are covered in the salary.
On the retirement at 60 with full pension claim the Employer states that it was made clear to individuals on signing the contract that retirement at 60 was not on full pension.
The Union indicated that it was against individual contracts and expressed major concerns at the Company preventing it negotiating on the terms and conditions of it's members. On the pension issue it was adamant that members had been led to believe that the retirement at 60 would be on full pension.
Having considered the written and oral submissions the Court is of the view that these employees have for some time been dealt with on an individual basis for Pay and Conditions. However, the Court is conscious of the concerns outlined by the Union in relation to individuals who are dissatisfied by the outcome of these arrangements or who feel intimidated by the process.
The Court, therefore, recommends that the Union accept the status quo in relation to personal contracts but that the Employers accept the Union right to represent individuals in cases of dissatisfaction or dispute on Pay and Conditions or any other issue that might arise.
On the Pension claim the Court believes that the Company offer to allow affected individuals to revert back to working up to 65 is a reasonable response and therefore does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th October 2002_______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Caroline Hayes, Court Secretary.