INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
JOHNSON FILTRATION SYSTEMS LIMITED
T/A JOHNSON SCREENS
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Payment for new technology.
2. The Company, which is part of the global Weatherford Group, manufactures metal well screens for the oil and gas industries. It currently employs 49 staff. This dispute concerns six welders engaged in a new welding process.
The Union is seeking an increase of €2 in the basic hourly rate for the introduction of new technology.
The Union claims that a particular part of the welding process is dangerous and warrants an additional payment.
The Company maintains that this claim is in breach of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) and that it is also in breach of a local 2000 Agreement which resulted in the claimants receiving an increase of 10.2% in November, 2000.
- 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 13th of November, 2003 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th of February, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. A particular part of the welding process is difficult, unpleasant and warrants an additional payment. They are required to wear cumbersome safety equipment in an environment where fumes are a health hazard.
2. The position is highly skilled and the work is of a critical nature.
3. The new technology represents a substantial change in work practices outside the terms of the local 2000 Agreement.
4. The offer of an assessment of the work practices by an independent engineer was rejected by the Company.
4. 1. A pay increase of 10.2% for any changes in work practices associated with the change in the product line was agreed in November 2000. The cost of this increase is €70,000 annually.2. The present claim, if conceded, would cost the Company an additional €31,000 annually.3. The Union's claim is cost increasing and is in breach of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF). The Company have fully complied with all PPF increases to date.4. The Company rejects the argument that the "Pre & Post Heat Treatment" is an unclean process and represents a potential health risk.
The Court has given careful consideration to the submissions of the parties. It is clear that the increase of 10.2% paid in November, 2000 was, in part at least, in anticipation of the process giving rise to the present claim. In the circumstances the Court is of the view that the work in question is covered by the agreement concluded in 2000. Accordingly, the Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th of March, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Carmel McManus, Court Secretary.