INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Introduction of long service increments.
2. The Union's claim is for the introduction of long service increments (LSIs) for grades other than Sales Assistants - e.g. security, canteen, catering and cleaning personnel.
The claim has its basis in LCR 16952 (Dunnes v MANDATE) in which the Labour Court recommended the introduction of LSIs. It was later clarified that the recommendation only applied to sales staff and the Union raised the issue of LSIs for non-sales staff in January, 2003. The Union claims that despite numerous attempts on its part to meet the Company, a meeting has still not taken place. The Union is seeking the application of LSIs for non-sales staff of 1.4% to the top point of the appropriate scale on reaching 7 year's service and 3.5% on reaching 10 years' service. The Union is also seeking retrospective payment.
The Union referred the case to the Labour Court on the 4th of December, 2003, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th of March, 2004. The Company did not attend the hearing. It sent a letter to the Court stating that procedures had not been exhausted and that the dispute could be resolved without third party involvement. The Union agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. LSIs have become an established feature in the retail sector. All major retailers have LSIs as part of their remuneration package (including Dunnes Stores). However, the Company is the only one which does not apply LSIs to the grades concerned i.e. canteen, cleaning, security and catering.
2. The Company has adopted delaying tactics in dealing with the workers' legitimate claim. This has proved very frustrating for the workers and the Union. Despite the Company/Union agreement stating that a meeting should take place within a maximum of 21 days, it is now 14 months since the claim was first lodged.
The Company did not attend the hearing. A written statement was sent to the Court on its behalf. This statement said that the Company's procedures had not been exhausted and, therefore, it was of the view that the issue in dispute could be dealt with without recourse to a third party. Having considered the Union's submission, the Court accepts that every effort has been made by the Union to process this matter to conclusion but without success.
Having considered the points raised, the Court recommends concession of the Union's claim. Accordingly, the Court recommends that the Company should pay long service increments to the claimants, to be applied as follows:
- After 7 years' service a long service increment of 1.4% should be added to the maximum of the General Assistant 2 rate (currently €8.79).
- After 10 years' service a long service increment of 3.5% should be added to maximum of the General Assistant 2 rate (currently €8.79).
- After 7 years' service a long service increment of 1.4% should be added to the maximum of the Security Staff rate (currently €10.46).
- After 10 years' service a long service increment of 3.5% should be added to the maximum of the Security Staff rate (currently €10.46).
The Court recommends that these payments should be paid retrospectively for one year from the date of this recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th March, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.