INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Use of video cameras.
2. The Company is engaged in the manufacture of lifting equipment at its plant in Galway.
It currently employs two hundred and forty five workers.
In June, 2003, the Company informed workers of its plan to introduce a Process
Improvement Programme (PIP) which would require the use of video cameras. The
Union opposed the PIP and particularly the use of video cameras.
The issue could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation
conference under the auspices of the Labour Relation's Commission. As agreement was
not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 22nd of July, 2003, in
accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court
hearing took place on the 6th of August, 2003.
3. 1. The workers are concerned that the recordings could be used to facilitate the transfer of work from the Galway plant.
2. A number of workers have been unable to accept the situation and have had to seek medical advice.
3. The compulsory use of video cameras on the factory floor without prior agreement with the Union is seen as an abuse of the plant agreement.
4. 1. The Galway plant is under severe pressure to achieve competitiveness in order to ensure its survival. The Process Improvement Programme will help increase effectiveness.
2. The video recordings are used solely for the purpose of the job study and will not be used for any surveillance or disciplinary purposes.
3. The use of video taping in the work study is a normal widely accepted procedure in industry.
Having considered the oral and written submissions of the parties the Court is of the view that the proposed use of video recording in this instance is part of normal ongoing change and recommends that the Union should cooperate fully with its use as part of the Process Improvement Programme. After a period of six months the process should be reviewed to evaluate benefits achieved and with a view to sharing the savings made. These benefits should be measured in terms of the improvements achieved in the levels of efficiency and competitiveness.
Furthermore, the Court recommends the parties should develop a Code of Conduct on the use of Video Surveillance in the workplace, as suggested by the Union's legal advisor.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th August, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.