INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. 1. Final written warning. 2. Loss of pay arising from transfer.
2. The Company is based in Collinstown Co. Westmeath and employs approximately 350 workers in the manufacture parts for the automotive industry. The issue in dispute relates to one worker, employed as a polishing technician who along with four other technicians was the subject of a Labour Court recommendation (LCR17648 refers). The recommendation dealt with the Company's proposal to move the workers onto a four cycle shift to meet production requirements, their refusal to work this shift and the subsequent redundancy situation which arose in the Company. The technicians were subsequently placed on lay off, offered redundancy payments or redeployment. Two of the five workers accepted the voluntary redundancy package. Three of the workers, including the claimant, accepted redeployment as general operatives. Two subsequently accepted redundancy. On her return to work the claimant had to sign a final written warning. The Union sought its removal and also claimed that the worker suffered a loss of earnings (approximately €80 p.w.) as a result of her redeployment as a general operative, which was a lower grade than polishing technician. Management rejected the claims. 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 on the 23rd June, 2004 in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held on the 17th November, 2004. At the hearing the Union withdrew the claim in relation to the issue of the Final Written Warning.
3. 1. LCR 17648 recommended that the polishing technicians should be offered redundancy payments in line with those available to other redundant staff or offered redeployment. The claimant was prepared to leave the Company on the basis of the original redundancy payment (four weeks pay per year of service) but this was not offered to her.
2. The claimant should be treated as though she was red-circled in her original position, she should not suffer any loss for the period of time on lay off and if she still wants to avail of the redundancy it should be offered to her as it was to other workers.
4. 1. The Company accepted and implemented LCR 17648. It redeployed the three former polishing technicians who wished to return to the employment. Two availed of voluntary redundancy.
2. This is a genuine redundancy situation. There has been no loss of earnings arising in this situation. The position of polishing technician is redundant. The claimant accepted the position of general operative at the rate that applied for that job. She was again offered the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancy in May, 2004. She choose not to do so.
In the Court's view the present dispute should be resolved by the Company offering the claimant redundancy on the terms proposed by the Court in recommendation 17648, namely four weeks pay per year of service inclusive of statutory terms.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd December, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.