INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
IRISH FERRIES LIMITED
- AND -
SEAMEN'S UNION OF IRELAND
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Change in 'slot times' and crew changeover.
2. The Union claims that management has changed the work practices for crews employed on Irish Ferries cross channel services. As a result of changes brought about by the owners of Holyhead (Stena Lines) the arrival and departure "slot" times of the "Ulysses" have been brought forward by one hour. The Union states that as a result of the "slot" changes the Company has proposed that crew changeover times be adjusted from 0800 hours on Thursday to 1900 hours on Wednesday as and from the 5th March, 2003. The Union is seeking one week's pay as compensation for the change in work practices.
Management rejected the Union's claim.
As there was no agreement between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 2nd April, 2003 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 13th June, 2003.
3. 1. When the Company first mooted the idea of an evening changeover it wasrejectedfollowinga ballot of the members.
2. When the new timetable came into operation on the 3rd March, 2003 the staff agreed to change their working hours to facilitate the Company. This was done as a goodwill gesture and nothing more.3. The Company have made it known that they favour an evening crew change over. The Union believe that this is a cost saving exercise.4. All the Union is seeking is a "once off" payment of one week's pay to be paid at Christmas to the staff concerned.COMPANY'S ARGUMENTS:4. 1. Irish Ferries is the only Company to receive a financial claim of any kind for
the "slot" time and crew change over times.
2. The slot change does not represent the wish of Irish Ferries. The change has been forced on the Company There is no new business available and all the Company can do is try to protect the existing business.
3. This type of activity/change is outside the control of Irish Ferries Limited at
both Holyhead and Dublin. It is a hazard of ferrying and seafaring and should
be accepted as such.
4. A survey carried out in August, 2002 shows that by comparison with their nearest competitor on the Irish Sea , the Company is disadvantaged by additional wages/salary costs of €5.9m per annum and staff numbers of an extra 176.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions recommends that the Company pay the claimant's a once off payment of 2 days pay, to be paid at Christmas in full and final settlement of this claim.
The Court does so only in relation to the particular changes involved in this proposal, accepting that normal slot changes and crew changeovers are part of seafaring requirements.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd June, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.