INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Compensation for loss of free car parking.
2. The dispute concerns 40 employees who work at the Company's outlet in Cavan Town. In early 2002 the Council introduced car parking charges throughout the town at a rate of 40 cents per hour and a weekly concession rate of €10 was introduced for the multi-storied car park. Prior to this the claimants had free car parking in the public car park beside the Tesco Store.The Union claimed compensation on behalf of the workers in respect of their loss of free car parking. The Company rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 17th October, 2002. A Court hearing was held in Cavan on the 20th February, 2003.
3. 1. As there is no local transport in the area the claimants have no option but to drive to work. The imposition of car parking charges has had a major affect on the earnings of the claimants with the lower paid losing out to the greatest degree.
2. The Company's main competitor has its own car park providing free parking for staff.
3. At the time of development of the original car park, other local employers kept some spaces for their customers, which have now been closed for staff parking only. Therefore, Tesco employees are the only ones having to incur the charges.
4. The Company provides parking spaces for its own staff in some stores.
5. The Company should rent a number of weekly spaces, reserved for Tesco workers, in the multi-storied car park.
4. 1. Availing of free car parking at the Tesco Cavan store has never been a term or condition of employment. It has merely been a benefit of circumstances and location.The Company has no part in the ownership of the car park and as such is not in a position to pay for staff car parking.
2. Parking charges have been applied by the Council equitably across all public parking in Cavan Town. Tesco staff are being treated no differently than employees of other companies.
3. Similar situations have been imposed by third parties in other stores in Tesco Ireland regarding car parking charges. Approaches by the parties have resulted in the third party both granting and refusing concessions depending on circumstances.
4. The one pay scale for sales assistants applying nationwide across the Company and the manner in which the Company/Union agreement was reached, dictates that all sales assistants across the Company receive equal remuneration regardless of external or geographical circumstances.
5. Concession by the Company of the claim for compensation for parking charges for staff in Tesco Cavan will result in significant repercussive costs across the business.
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties, is of the view that it would be unreasonable to expect the Company to pay compensation for the loss of free parking facilities, arising from the action of the Cavan County Council.
The Court, therefore, does not recommend concession of the Union's claim in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th March, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.