INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
J & Z BLACKMAN
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Selection Criteria and Terms for Redundancy
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute over selection criteria and terms of a redundancy package within the company. The company, established in1957, is a jewellery manufacturing business located in Dublin.
In recent years the company has incurred significant losses in its manufacture of low cost fashion jewellery as a result of imports from other countries. Consequently, restructuring within the company is necessary. The company are seeking to make six employees redundant paying only statutory entitlement either on a voluntary basis initially or on a last in first out basis if necesary.
The Union are seeking that the workers affected be compensated beyond statutory for the redundancies being sought by the company.
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 21st December 2004 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 19th January 2005.
3 1. The company will generate significant savings from the proposed redundancies. The workers in question should be compensated in an appropriate manner, beyond statutory entitlement, given their skill and length of service with the company.
- 2. The company refused to negotiate on the redundancy terms and no progress could be made at conciliation. Short time working was then introduced despite an assurance that no punitive action would be taken while the dispute went through procedures.
3. The selection criteria for the redundancies is unfair on the basis that workers with less experience are being retained by the company.
4. 1. The company has incurred significant losses since 1999. Reorganisation is essential if the company is to remain viable. Non-implementation of redundancies would inevitably lead to closure resulting in a greater number of job losses.
2. The company's financial situation will require further borrowing to pay statutory redundancy entitlements. Any proposed payments beyond that level would result in the business being forced to cease trading.
The Union submitted a claim for an enhanced redundancy terms and for redundancies to be selected on a voluntary basis. Six positions within the company are being made redundant due to the closure of the company's fashion jewellery manufacturing business due to the significant financial losses incurred.
The company proposed to offer redundancy on a voluntary basis to those positions where there are more incumbents than required, in reality this applies only to the
polisher position as there are two polishers and one will be retained.
Having considered all the circumstances in this case, the Court recommends that the Union should accept the proposed selected redundancies with the one voluntary option and the following ex-gratia severance payment in full and final settlement of the claims before the Court:-
- the Company should pay, in addition to statutory entitlements an ex-gratia payment to each of the six workers; this payment should be equivalent to the value of the respective statutory redundancy rebates for each claimant.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th January, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.