INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MASTERAIR SALES LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Redundancy terms
2. Masterair Sales Limited is a specialist manufacturing company producing high quality custom-built air handling equipment to order. The equipment is supplied to companies requiring clean-room and sterile environments and include sectors such as IT, Medical/Hospital facilities and Pharma-Chem business. The Company employs approximately sixty with a number of the manufacturing staff represented by SIPTU.
The Union states that in July, 2003, it was informed of the Company's intention to introduce short time working and to seek some redundancies. The Company's offer of statutory redundancy was unacceptable to the Union.
Management stated that of the four positions to be made redundant using the "Last In First Out" (LIFO) criteria across the relevant sections of the company, only one union member was affected.
As agreement was not possible the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 20th August, 2003 but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 26th August, 2003 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 30th September, 2003.
3. 1. The Union has been informed by management that it has cancelled its plans for short time working.
2. The Company propose to offer statutory redundancy terms to those selected for redundancy. This has never been negotiated or agreed to with the Union.
3. The Union wants a scheme put in place that will give workers their statutory entitlements plus 6 weeks' pay per year of servicefor all future redundancies.
4. 1. The difficult trading position has been made clear to the staff. The Company has engaged in extensive consultation with its workforce with a view to communicating the measures needed to protect future employment.
2. The savings derived from some redundancies have facilitated the survival of the company which is faced with a difficult struggle to maintain the employment into the future.
3. Two general operatives have volunteered for and have been granted redundancy on the terms put forward by the company.
4. The Company is in a cash flow crisis and cannot afford any additional costs on its resources.
The dispute originally referred to the Court concerned the proposed redundancy of a number of individuals. Since the referral the individuals have voluntarily left the employment and there is now no issue between the parties in relation to their terms of severance. The company have indicated to the Court that they are not now seeking redundancies and none are in contemplation in the foreseeable future. The Union nonetheless have asked the Court to recommend on the monetary terms to apply should a redundancy situation arise in the future.
The Court is of the view that it would be inappropriate to make recommendations in a vacuum. In the event of redundancies arising in the future the Union should be given sufficient advance notice so as to allow negotiations to take place on all relevant matters, including the level of redundancy payments. Such negotiations should be completed, and if necessary processed through the LRC and the Court, before any redundancies are implemented.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th October, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.