INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FEDERATION)
- AND -
BUILDING AND ALLIED TRADES UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Use of precast brick faced panels.
2. The Company is a construction company which carries out work in accordance with the design and method of construction determined by designers. The development which has given rise to this dispute was originally designed as a traditional brick facade building and would have been constructed by the Union's members. It was subsequently redesigned and the traditional brickwork was replaced with pre-cast concrete brick faced panels. These are erected by general operatives, and not bricklayers, with consequent implications for the Union's members.
The Union raised their concerns with the Company but failed to reach agreement. The Company claim that the issue is one of demarcation and is being addressed by the trade unions.
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 could not be reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 13th January, 2005, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 28th April, 2005.
3. 1. The use of pre-cast brick panels directly affects bricklayers and therefore they should be consulted and involved in alternative or replacement products.
2. Bricklayers have previously erected panels on major projects.
3. The actions of the Company have resulted in lay-off and consequent losses for bricklayers employed by the Company.
4. 1.The erection of precast panels is the work of members of another union and has been carried out by this category in the construction industry for over 40 years.
2. This is not bricklayer's work and they are not trained to do it.
3. This is an inter union demarcation issue which is currently being addressed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
It appears to the court that the issue in dispute between the parties relates to demarcation of work and, potentially at least, could impact on the interests of another Union which is not represented before the Court.
The Court is of the view that the best course of action for the Union to adopt is to ask the Congress of Trade Unions to adjudicate on the demarcations elements of the dispute through its appropriate procedures. Following clarification of the position the matter should be discussed between the parties and if necessary referred back to the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5th May, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.