INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DIS ENBI LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. 1. Non implementation of 2%, 4% and 1% lump sum under the P.P.F.
2. Compensation for loss of shift allowance for 4 General Operatives.
3. Compensation for transfer for three workers from the Chemical Mill
(Ref: Point 2 Proposal Dated 14th of March.).
2. In 1997, the Company was the subject of a management buy out in order to avoid closure. In 2001, the Company formulated a survival package after it sustained severe financial losses for financial years 2000 and 2001.
The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union in respect of:
1. The non implementation of 4%, 2% and 1% lump sum under the P.P.F (phase 3).
2. Compensation for loss of shift worker's allowance.
3. Compensation for transfer of three workers from the Chemical Mill.
The Company have furnished the Court and the Union with copies of its audited accounts and balance sheet. The Union indicated that they do not intend making any submissions on the accounts as presented.
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 12th of August, 2002. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 23rd of January, 2003.
3. 1. The Company promised to devise a method for paying the outstanding P.P.F in early January, 2002.
2.The Company subsequently stated that it was not in a position to pay the outstanding phases of the P.P.F due to the financial situation within the Company.
4. 1. Although committed in principle to paying the 4% of the P.P.F. the Company regret they are currently not in a position to do so.
2. The Company have in the past honoured National Wage Agreements.
3. Due to the current financial situation within the Company, it is now not in a position to honour the outstanding phases of the P.P.F.
Compensation for loss of Shift Allowance
5. 1. The three or four employees involved have given long service to the Company and the pay rate for these worker's together with the shift allowance exceeds remuneration of staff in all other sectors in the plant.
2. The loss of shift allowance for these three or four workers would be a considerable financial burden.
6. 1. The Company have undertaken to pay the shift premium to three or four workers until March, 2003 in recognition of their loss of shift premium.
2. Due to the financial situation the Company is unable to improve the March, 2003 offer to compensate the workers for loss of shift premium.
Compensation for the transfer of three workers from the Chemical Mill
7. 1. These three employees have worked their way up through the various departments and the subsequent transfer will have a negative psychological and financial effect.
2. These senior service worker's could aspire to level 5 grade with a basic rate of €353.99 per week (on current rates) as distinct from a rate of €345.22 being the highest rate attainable in the new positions to which these workers arebeing transferred.
8. 1. The Company survival plan necessitates the transfer of these three workers to other Departments and the subsequent loss of the mill rate.
2. The Company will pay the level 5 mill rate to the three workers, who transferred from the Chemical Mill area until March 2003 in recognition of their loss of earnings from the application of a different pay scale.
The Court has considered the submissions of the parties and recommends as follows:
Inability to Pay PPF.
The Company have pleaded inability to pay increases of 4%, 2% and the 1% lump sum due under PPF. The Company have furnished the Court and the Union with copies of its accounts and balance sheet showing its current financial circumstances. The Union have indicated that they do not intend making any submissions on the accounts as presented and that they are prepared to leave it to the Court to determine if the claim of inability to pay is made out.
The Court has carefully examined the accounts and other information provided. It has come to the clear view that the current circumstances of the Company are such that it could not pay the increases due at this time without a real and serious threat to its capacity to continuing trading. Accordingly, the Court recommends that the Union should accept the Company's pleas of inability to pay.
The Court further recommends that the position be reviewed after three months to determine if the situation has improved sufficiently to allow some or all of the increases to be paid.
Compensation for Loss of Shift Allowance/Compensation for Transfer of Workers.
The Court notes the proposals made at conciliation in respect of these matters. The Court believes that what was proposed is as much as could be expected in the circumstances. The Court therefore recommends that the IRO's proposals be accepted.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th of February, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Carmel McManus, Court Secretary.