INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SHANNON AEROSPACE LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Union recognition.
2. The claim is for Union recognition for workers employed under flexitime arrangements in Shannon Aerospace Limited. There are a number of different categories of workers involved, totalling approximately 160 employees. The Union already has negotiating rights for a variety of other categories as covered by the varitime agreement of 1989. At present, the Company deals directly with workers on an individual basis or in small groups and wishes to continue to do so.
The Union first made its claim in June, 2003, but, claiming that it failed to get a formal response from the Company, it referred the case to the Labour Court on the 22nd of April, 2004, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of February, 2005, in Limerick, the earliest date suitable to the parties. The Union agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. A significant majority of flexitime workers are members of the Union. Many of them would have come through the varitime system where they would have had Union representation. They should not now be denied the right to be represented by SIPTU on a collective basis.
2. The Union finds it strange that the Company, which is itself represented by IBEC, would deny a group of workers the right to have collective representation.
4. 1. Management embarked on a round of extensive communication directly with flexitime workers and found that most were very happy with arrangements as they stood. Many were worried that a formal Union agreement could restrict their flexibility. The current system is considered much better than standard flexitime systems elsewhere.
2. The current flexitime systems suits employees and Company alike. Terms and conditions of employment are excellent. However, because the 160 workers concerned are made up of individuals or small varied groups, the Company has always found it best to deal with them as such rather than as one large group. Because of the nature of the business, the Company does not believe that a collective agreement with the Union is in its best interest.
The Court notes that the Company already recognises SIPTU in respect of the majority of staff and, it is acknowledged, a satisfactory working relationship exists between the parties in respect of those groups. The Court can see no reason as to why a similar relationship cannot be developed in respect of those associated with the present claim.
In the circumstances, the Court recommends that the Union's claim for recognition for collective purposes be conceded in respect of the group in question, and the parties should meet at the earliest possible date for the purpose of concluding a framework agreement. Such an agreement should define the basis upon which they will engage with each other and define the groups or categories to be covered by the Agreement. These negotiations should be concluded within three months.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th February, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.