INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Phase 2 Proposals.
2. The issue concerns what both parties call “Phase 2” of the Engineering Operative’s pay deal in the Sleeper Plant in Portlaoise. The Company made a proposal offering an average forty two hour per week annual hours contract worked on a five over seven basis. This proposal follows on from a range of similar agreements concluded in the Company over the past number of years with other grades.
As a result of a "new deal" for the Donnelli Operators the Union are seeking to maintain a differential between the Engineering Operative's grade and the Donnelli operative's grade on the basis that the Engineering operators have traditionally been paid a rate above the Donnelli operators.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and 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 25th March, 2004 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 16th June, 2004.
3.1 The Company's offer for the Engineering Operatives based in Portlaoise will result in a situation where the differential with other grades will erode.
2.The Union are requesting that the differential between the various grades be maintained.
3. The Union maintains that the Company's offer of 42 hours contracts would result in substantial loss of earnings for workers
4.1The Company are seeking 42 hour contracts due to falling production demands at the Sleeper Plant in recent months due to the fact that the Company's track laying system programme is nearly completed.
2. The Company do not accept that any differential exists between the Engineering operative grade and the Donnelli Operators.
3. The Company submit that the terms and conditions of both groups are entirely different and distinct with very different rostering arrangements applying.
The Court has considered the Union’s claims on behalf of engineering operatives at the Portlaoise Rail Sleeper Plant concerning rates of pay and contract hours of work. A differential is being sought between this grade and the Donnelli operative’s grade on the basis that this grade has traditionally been paid a rate above the Donnelli operators.
The Court examined all aspects of this dispute, and could find no reason to accept the claim that an established differential exists between the grades in question. Consequently, in an effort to resolve the dispute between the parties, subsequent discussions were held between the Court and the parties. As a result of those discussions the Court hereby issues the following recommendation: -
The Court is of the view that the claimants here concerned form part of an overall shopworker group, including craftworkers, supervisors and other engineering operatives, outside Portlaoise. Therefore, the Court is of the view that it would be appropriate for this group to engage in Phase 2 discussions within the context of the wider group. The Court recommends the following format and timescale for completion of the discussion process: -
-both parties must give priority to the process,
-both parties to agree the agenda,
-all necessary resources and facilities must be given to enable the efficient use of
-process must be completed by the end of November 2004.
The parties should report back to the Court at the end of November 2004 with a full report on the progress made. If there are any outstanding issues, they may be referred back for a definitive recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th September, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.