INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BORD NA MONA
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. System of payment for use of machine.
2. The Company has four businesses operating in the energy, domestic heating, horticulture and pollution abatement industries. Bord na Mona Energy Limited supplies peat for the generation of electricity and for the manufacture of peat briquettes. It has a number of production centres, one of which is located at Oweninney, Co. Mayo.
In 1989, Autonomous Enterprise Units (Self managed work teams) were established as part of a change programme. Workers' earnings are based on peat production tonnage achieved against the target set.
In 1992, Section 4 Autonomous Enterprise Unit was established in Oweninney. In 1996, a Brush Ridger machine was introduced in order to increase production.
The Union's claim is that as a result of the introduction of the new machine the workers in Section 4 had lost production and therefore, should be compensated for this loss.
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 6th of January, 2003, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 5th of June, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The workers concerned worked the new machine to the best of their ability despite numerous problems which were caused by mechanical breakdowns.
2. The workers concerned lost production due to the introduction of the Brush Ridger. They suffered a serious loss during the1996 production period, they should be compensated for this loss.
4. 1. There are a number of factors such as weather conditions, drainage, properly overhauled and maintained equipment and the efficient use of the available drying time, which can have an impact on the actual production achieved in a season.
2. The Evaluation Study highlights the point that while Section 4 had the lowest percentage production recorded at Oweninney in 1996 it also had the lowest in 1997 when the Brush Ridger was not in the Section.
3. Concession of the claim would have significant financial implications for the Company.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties does not recommend concession of the Union's claim in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd June, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.