INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
COCA COLA BOTTLERS IRELAND
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pay parity with workers in the Cork Depot.
2. The Union 's claim, on behalf of 14 workers based at the Killarney Depot, is for pay parity with workers in the Company's Cork Depot. The workers' remuneration package is made up of basic pay and commission payments on the number of kegs/bottles/ soft drinks delivered. At local discussions the Company offered to increase basic pay by €10 per week and to increase commission giving an overall potential increase of €27- €45 per week. In return, workers would have to agree to certain productivity measures. The Union rejected the offer. The Union sought that the Company's proposed increase in commission should be consolidated into basic pay and that existing commission rates be retained. This was not acceptable to the Company. 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 in October, 2003 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held on the 2nd June, 2004.
3. 1. The Company's offer is significantly less than the pay package available to employees at the Cork Depot.
2. There is a major difference of operation between the Cork and Killarney Depots. In Cork there is a specific general operative grade to load and unload lorries whereas in Killarney drivers/helpers have to load/unload their own lorries . This results in an increased workload. There is also higher productivity at the Killarney Depot yet there are no compensatory payments in return.
4. 1. The pay rates in existence in Cork and Killarney emanated from agreements that emerged from two different and distinct operations that, over a period of time, merged into a single company with local pay and conditions. Drivers in Cork earn higher volume related commission by their willingness to handle second and sometimes third loads within the working day.
2. The claim is cost increasing and precluded under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness and Sustaining Progress Agreements.
3. The Company is willing to enter into discussions, on a productivity basis with the Union based on improved productivity measures.
Having considered the positions of the parties the Court is of the view that the only realistic means by which further increases in pay can be attained by the claimants is by way of providing real productivity improvements which will offset costs involved.
Whilst the Court accepts that there have been significant delays in processing this dispute (which are acknowledged by the Company), it nonetheless believes that the Company's proposal that negotiations resume on productivity measures should be accepted. The Court recommends that these negotiations should resume as soon as practicable and should conclude within two months. Any outstanding matters should then be referred back to the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th June, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.