INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
S2(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2001,
AS AMENDED BY THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS(MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT, 2004
GREYHOUND WASTE DISPOSAL COMPANY
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Union application under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001, as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004.
2. The Company is engaged in the collection and recycling of waste materials. The Union accepted a number of drivers into membership and wrote to the Company in October, 2004 seeking a meeting to discuss its members terms and conditions of employment as follows:
Rates of pay
Standard working hours
Calculation of holiday pay
Grievance and disciplinary procedure
The Company refused to enter negotiations with the Union. Subsequently the Union referred the issue to the Labour Relations Commission under the terms of the Enhanced Code of Practice on Voluntary Disputes Resolution ( S.I. No. 76 of 2004). The Company declined an invitation from the Labour Relations Commission Advisory Service to engage under the Voluntary Code. On the 17th December, 2004 the Union made an application to the Labour Court for an investigation of the dispute under the Industrial Relations Amendment Act, 2001 as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004. A Court hearing was held on the 4th February, 2005
This dispute was referred to the Court pursuant to Section 2 (1) of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001, as amended (the Act). The Court is satisfied that the conditions specified at Section 2(1) (a) to 2(1) (d) of the Act are fulfilled in this case and that the dispute is properly before the Court for investigation and recommendation.
The Union made a comprehensive written and verbal submission in support of its case. The employer did not make a submission to the Court but attended the hearing and responded to the Union's presentation.
On the evidence before it the Court is satisfied that the pay and conditions of employment of the drivers employed by the company, when viewed in their totality, are out of line with appropriate standards. The Court ,therefore, considers it appropriate to make recommendations setting out its views as to the action which should be taken in relation to the issues raised by the Union in its submission.
The Court recommends as follows:
The Court recommends that the basic hourly rate applicable to drivers be set at €14.20 per hour. The Court does not recommend that a bonus be paid in addition to this rate.
Standard Working Hours.
There should be a standard working week of 39 hours over five days -Monday to Friday.
Hours worked in excess of the standard hours referred to above should be paid as follows:
Time plus one half after normal finishing time, Monday to Friday.
Time plus one half for all time worked in the first four hours on Saturday and double time thereafter.
Double time for hours worked before normal starting time
Double time for all hours worked on Sunday.
A sick pay scheme should be introduced which provides for up to eight weeks sick leave on full pay, less social welfare, in any 12-month period. The scheme should operate from the fourth day of certified illness.
Calculation of Holiday Pay.
Regular and rostered overtime, calculated by reference to the average weekly overtime worked in the thirteen weeks preceding the commencement of the holiday, should be included in the rate for holiday pay.
What is described as a loyalty bonus is in reality a deduction from the wages of drivers which is retained by the Company and held against the cost of accidental damage to its vehicles. In the Court's view it is a wholly inappropriate and unfair deduction and should be discontinued. Any monies retained by the Company on foot of such deductions should be refunded to the employees from whom it was retained.
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures.
The employer should put in place a disciplinary and grievance procedure which conforms to the general provisions of the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures ( S.I No. 146 of 2000). Consistent with the Code, the company procedure should provide for representation by an employee representative in processing individual grievances and disciplinary matters. An employee representative is defined by the code of practice as including a work colleague or a trade union. The procedure should contain provision for either form of representation as the employee may decide.
The procedure should also provide for the full utilisation of the normal dispute resolution machinery of the State, including the reference of disputes to Conciliation, the Rights Commissioner service and the Labour Court, as appropriate. Any submission that the Union wishes to make with regard to its content should be taken into consideration. If there is any dispute in relation to the compatibility of the proposed procedures with the Code of Practice, the question may be processed under Section 43 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
Written Particulars of terms and conditions of Employment.
The Court recommends that all Drivers be provided with written particulars of their terms and conditions of employment, including details of the grievance and disciplinary procedure, as required by law. It is noted that a significant number of the company's drivers do not have fluency in the English language. On this account the statement should be provided in a language that the employee understands.
The recommendations herein should be implemented within one month from the date on which they are issued.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th February, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.