INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
GRAPHICAL PAPER & MEDIA UNION (GMPU)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. (1) 1% lump sum, (2) 4% Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (P.P.F.).
2. The Company is involved in the printing business and employs approximately thirty people. The Union claims that the Company has failed to pay the 1% lump sum payment due as part of the stability clause negotiated by the Social Partners. It has also failed to pay the 4% due under the final phase of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
The Company states that it will pay the final phase of the PPF when it returns to profitability.
As there was no agreement between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 23rd September, 2002, but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 4th November, 2002, under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 17th December, 2002.
3. 1. The Union is not convinced that the Company is not in a financial positionto honour this claim.
2. The members are prepared to take all the necessary steps to secure their entitlements.
3. The other print companies in Dublin also faced financial difficulties but were able to pay their employees their entitlements as per national agreements.
4. If the Company is successful in their attempt to avoid paying wage increases, they will secure an unfair advantage over their competitors, who have met their obligations in relation to national wage agreements.
4. 1. The Company,like many other companies in the print industry, are struggling to stay in business.
2. The Company has sustained a €39,377 loss up to the 30th November, 2002.
3. The Company has remained in business because shareholders have personally guaranteed extra bank loans.
4. This is the first occasion in which the Company has not paid a wage agreement on the due date.
5. The Company has undertaken to pay the final phase of the PPF when it returns to profitability.
The Court notes that the lump sum due arising from the 1% lump sum PPF payment is being paid and therefore the only issue before the Court is the non payment of the 4% due under the final phase of PPF. The Court has been advised of the seriousness of the financial position of the company and that it has continued due to guaranteed borrowings and by implementing cost cutting measures.
The Company indicated their commitment to pay the 4% due under the final phase of PPF. The Court recommends that due to the extreme circumstances facing the company, the 4% increase due should be paid with effect from 1st April, 2003. The Court also recommends that the parties should agree a phased payment of the retrospection due, to be paid within the year 2003.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th January, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.