INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY THE EMPLOYMENT & SAFETY ASSOCIATES)
- AND -
GRAPHICAL PAPER & MEDIA UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Non-payment of Sustaining Progress.
2. The Company is a private printing company with 20 staff in total. Over the past number of years it has suffered financial difficulties and has been unable to afford to pay any increases. It has also made several redundancies since 2001 in an effort to try and sustain the level of losses.
In July 2003 the 3% due from February 2003 was paid but not backdated. Subsequent increases have not been paid. The Union is seeking payment in full of Sustaining Progress with effect from the due dates.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of two conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 12th October, 2004, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th January, 2005.
3. 1.The Union negotiated in good faith under the terms of Sustaining Progress clause 1.8. They accepted the non-replacement of staff and co-operated in ongoing change.
4. 1.The employees currently working with the Company enjoy wages far above Union rates and in similar printing firms.
2. The Company is hopeful that following new measures which it has taken recently that financial conditions will improve enabling the Company to pay the outstanding 7% from May 2005.
This dispute concerns a claim by the Union for outstanding pay increases due under Sustaining Progress. The case has been referred to the Court under Clause 1.10 (iii) of the Agreement.
The employer stated to the Court that the first phase of SP I was paid to employees from July 2003; however, due to the Company's financial circumstances it is unable to pay the remaining phases, the retrospection or the terms of SP II.
The Court has considered the submissions made by both sides and has considered the financial and economic circumstances of the Company. The Court notes that the Company indicated its intention to pay the 7% currently outstanding, under the Agreements by May 2005, but also indicated that it will not be in a position now or in the future to pay the retrospection due.
The Court is satisfied that the Company has been experiencing significant financial pressures, which it now predicts will improve somewhat, due to the measures it has taken in recent times. Therefore, the Court recommends that rates of pay should be increased by the outstanding 7% with effect from 1st May 2005 and that the parties should meet to agree a mechanism for resolving the matter of the retrospection payments due under the Agreements.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th January, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.