INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
C & D PETFOODS
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Upgrading of canteen staff.
2. The Company is involved in the manufacture of canned cat and dog food. It employs approximately four hundred people. The Company operates a five day 3 cycle shift and employs six workers in the canteen to provide tea, coffee and cooked meals.
The Union submitted a pay claim on behalf of the six canteen supervisors. The Union claims that its members employed in the canteen are paid a lower rate of pay than other supervisors.
Management rejected the claim on the basis that the job description has not changed since the job was evaluated in 1999.
As there was no agreement between the parties, the dispute was referred to the
Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 22nd August,
2002, but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on
the 3rd September, 2002 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations
Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 27th February, 2003, the earliest
date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The workers in the canteen are supervisors and should be paid at the same rate of pay as other supervisors in the Company.
2. Management place a greater level of responsibility on the claimants than they do on other employees.
3. The staff in the canteen are responsible for the following tasks, (1) to organise and arrange their own overtime, (2) to act as key holders to the office area,, (3) to arrange their own rosters, and (4) to take responsibility for ordering requirements for the canteen.
4.The staff concerned are under great pressure to have meals ready for consumption at the appointed break time.
COMPANY'S ARGUMENTS :
4. 1. This is a cost increasing claim and is precluded under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
2. The job description for the employees concerned has not been changed since a job evaluation exercise was carried out in 1999.
3. The Company offered to carry out a broader study of the workload of the staff concerned with a view to implementing organisational changes where necessary.
4. Concession of the Union's claim could lead to knock-on claims from other sections.
The Court notes that a work study exercise carried out on behalf of the Union in 1999 did not identify any disparity in the grading of the claimants. The Court is satisfied that there has been no substantial change in the nature of the job in the interim which would alter the validity of the most recent study.
Accordingly, the Court does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
The Court does recommend that the Union accept the Company's offer to carry out a broader study of the workload of the canteen staff with a view to implementing organisational changes which would address some of the staff concerns.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th March, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.