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 Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Redundancy package for welders.
2. The Company is engaged in the manufacture of materials handling equipment and employs 245 workers. The dispute relates to welders who are employed as manual welders but have been redeployed to jobs on robotic welding as a result of reorganisation. The Union claims that unless the welders can be guaranteed manual welding work they should be declared redundant. In that event the Union is seeking redundancy package of seven weeks per year of service plus statutory entitlements. The Company rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 11th December, 2002. A Court hearing was held in Galway on the 12th February, 2003.
3. 1. The claimants are a highly skilled group. Welding is a distinct trade. They cannot be forced to undertake non welding work.
2. The Company cannot provide the claimants with welding work with any degree of certainty. A number of product changes currently envisaged have worsened the position.
3. Where the Company cannot provide welding work for the claimants a redundancy package as outlined by the Union should be put in place.
4. 1. The Company has, over many years, changed products and this has led to a requirement for a combination of manual and robotic welding. Welders have carried out both types of welding.
2. The Company has no plans to make welders redundant.
3. If an actual redundancy situation arose the Company would enter into discussions with the Union.
Having considered the positions of both parties the Court does not believe that a redundancy situation exists within the Company at this time and consequently, it would not be appropriate for the Court to anticipate such a situation.
In the event that such a situation does arise in the future, the Court recommends that the Company should give the Union as much notice as possible.
In the circumstances the Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st February, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.