INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Implementation of agreed severance package
2. The dispute is in respect of two workers who have been employed by Dublin Box Company for 13 years and 6 years respectively. In 2000, Dublin Box Company was taken over by Fitzgerald Packaging. All employees were retained on the same terms and conditions in accordance with the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations.
On 28th February 2001 the Company wrote to the Union advising them of their intention to cease production immediately. Terms and conditions were agreed on a redundancy package, which included, 3 weeks pay per year, plus statutory redundancy. The two workers in dispute were invited to remain in the company subject to agreement being reached on new terms and conditions.
The 6 remaining workers were informed on 4th March, 2002, that the Dublin Plant would cease trading, effective immediately. The two workers concerned have been given statutory redundancy and are requesting that the terms of the original redundancy package which included 3 weeks pay per year plus statutory redundancybe implemented.
The Union referred the claim to the Labour Court on the 14th May, 2003 in accordance with Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 27th June, 2003. The Company did not attend the hearing.
3. 1. On 4th March 2002, the Fitzgerald Packaging Group Manager informed the six remaining employees of the Dublin Plant that it would cease trading, effective immediately. No offer of a severance package was made to our members and they accepted statutory payments under protest.
2. As wages were paid from Limerick, the Union pursued the payment of the agreed severance package with Fitzgerald Packaging in Limerick, but to no avail.
3. Our members are entitled to the agreed severance package that both were originally entitled to avail of, a year previously. They stayed on with the Company as a favour and in the expectation of retaining permanent employment. Now that the Company have reversed this expectation, they should be made to honour the original agreement in full.
4. The work of the Dublin Plant has been subsumed into the main Fitzgerald Packaging operation at considerable saving to the Company. There is no reason, therefore, that the Company should not pay the previously agreed severance terms, suitably adjusted in line with wage adjustments in the intervening period.
The Court finds it regrettable that the employer did not attend the hearing or otherwise communicate with the Court in relation to the substance of the Union's claim.
Having heard the submission of the Union and the uncontested evidence which it presented, the Court recommends that the claim be conceded in full.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th July, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.