INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CAPPA PILOT STATION (SHANNON FOYNES PORT COMPANY)
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Parity claim with Foynes Boat Crew (Harbour Board).
2. The Shannon Foynes Port Company was formed in September, 2000, following the amalgamation of the 2 commercial Port Companies on the Shannon Estuary - Shannon Estuary Port Company and the Foynes Port Company. The claim by the Union is for pay parity on behalf of 5 members of the Cappa Pilot Boat Crew. The Cappa Pilot Boat Crew was formally with the Shannon Estuary Port Company, and the Foynes Pilot Boat Crew was employed by the Foynes Port Company. At present the coxswain at Cappa receives €6.76 (€4.56 per hour plus 33% shift premium) per hour while the Assistant Coxswain receives €6.39 (€4.24 per hour plus 33% shift premium); the workers in Foynes are paid €11.56 per hour plus overtime. The Union claims that the work of both crew is similar and that they should both be paid the same rate. The Company maintains that work is entirely different and that there are no grounds for pay parity. The Union's full claim is as follows:
1. To be paid the same hourly rate as the Coxwain of the Foynes Pilot Boat
2. For the rate to be back dated to the date of the new Company's formation
3. That the deferential of 5.5% between the hourly rates of the coxswain and assistant-coxswain on the Cappa Pilot Boat be maintained
4. That they receive the same Christmas and New Year holiday entitlements as their colleagues in Foynes
5.And finally that they be entitled to join the same Company pension scheme as the crew in Foynes if they wish
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the Parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 26th of March, 2003, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of July, 2003, in Limerick.
3. 1. The workers concerned are the lowest paid in the Company. It is two and a half years since the claim was first lodged but the workers are no nearer to receiving the same hourly rate as their colleagues.
2. The four most senior workers have between 16 and 18 years experience and it is this extensive experience that ensures the safe and efficient running of the port.
3. The workers are on duty 81.45 hours per week, whereas the Foynes Boat crew work is a typical 39 hours per week. Unlike their colleagues in Foynes, the workers do not get holidays over the Christmas period.
4. 1. There is no basis to the claim as the two groups carry out entirely different functions. The Cappa Boat Crew are only engaged in the core activity relating to pilotage.
2. In a 30-day cycle the Cappa Boat Crew is on duty for a period of 12 days. During the day, when the boat is not operational, there is only 1 worker required to attend the station.
3. The rates of pay and terms of conditions of the workers concerned are quite competitive within the industry. The claim is cost-increasing and is precluded under the National Agreements.
4. If the claim were conceded, there would be substantial knock-on claims that the Company could not afford.
The Court has considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties and also the correspondence supplied since the hearing.
The Court is satisfied that the claim for parity must take into account the different structures, functions, and activities of the employments being quoted.
The Court, having considered these aspects, does not recommend concession of the Union's claim for parity in this case.
However, the Court recommends that the employer reviews the level of attendance requirement to see if it is possible to reduce the hours on duty of the claimants, thereby increasing the hourly rate.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st July, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.