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: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Pipe assembly
2. Wexport Ltd is a pharmaceutical company which produces bulk active pharmaceutical intermediates at its plant in Little Island, Co. Cork. The Company is a subsidiary of Leo Pharma, a Danish pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Copenhagen.
The Company want general operatives (GO) to disassemble/reassemble a pipe as a normal duty appropriate to the general operative grade. The Company states that this is necessary to maintain final product quality and to comply with Good Manufacturing Procedures.
The Union's contention in relation to the proposed changes is that (1) the change proposed is fundamental, (2) the work involved is proper to Tech Services, (3) if the workers are to take on board this role they should be properly remunerated for it.
As agreement was not possible the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on 16th April, 2003, but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 8th May, 2003, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute in Cork on the 13th August, 2003.
3. 1. The company wishes to implement this necessary change in pipe assembly and cleaning procedures as part of normal on-going change.
2. The proposed changes to the spray dryer cleaning procedure is part of ongoing change covered under clause 1 of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
3. There is no justification for a payment in this case. The Company must be able to demonstrate to the parent company that it has stability in every sense. The pursuit of a claim like this would have the opposite effect.
4. The claim for payment is a cost increasing claim and not admissible under Clause 11 of the PPF.
4. 1.Following discussions at local level five of the six outstanding issues in dispute were resolved. However, the issue of dismantling the pipe work between the cartridge and cyclone could not be resolved.
2. The dismantling of the pipe work was work previously carried out by Tech Services and as such is not a normal ongoing change. It is a fundamental change and the workers must be compensated for this extra work.
3. The Company is prepared to give the National Agreements plus enhancements to its non-union workforce. However, it is not prepared to explore elements within the National Wage Agreements such as Gain Sharing/Profit Sharing for its unionised workforce.
4.If the Company committed to exploring, through Gain Sharing/Profit Sharing, this issue could be resolved to the mutal benefit of all concerned.
The Court has considered the oral and written submission of both parties to this dispute. The Company require cooperation from production operatives to disassemble/assemble a pipe as part of the revised operating procedures for spray drying equipment so as to maintain final product quality and to comply with Good Manufacturing Procedures. The Court notes that the Union do not have a technical or principled objection to doing this work but believe that the company should introduce a Gain Sharing/Profit Sharing scheme in return for such cooperation.
The Court noted the willingness of employees to cooperate with a number of items, which they considered as work proper to Technical Services. This one item remains in dispute between the parties.
In order to progress this matter, in view of the company's reluctance to introduce a Gain Sharing/Profit Sharing scheme and in the absence of such schemes, the Court recommends that following the appropriate training the Union should cooperate fully with disassemble/assemble duties required - in return the company should pay a once off lump sum of €500 to each operative involved.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st August, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.