INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
KRAUS & NAIMER IRELAND LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Failure to appoint to Shift Leader's position.
2. The Company was established in Shannon in 1973 and is part of the worldwide Kraus & Naimer Group. The Company's operation include injection moulding, metal-forming, assembling, tool-making and tool design. The dispute before the Court concerns the Union's claim that the Company failed to appoint its member to the position of Shift Leader. The Claimant sought an upgrade to Shift Leader from Machine Setter Grade in 2003, on the basis of his service, expertise and responsibilities and the fact that there was no Shift Leader at the time. The Company rejects the claim on the basis that an agreement was reached with the Union prior to the Claimant's request which provided for restructuring of the Metal Shop. The Company further contends that there is no business need for a Shift Leader position.
- On the 21st July, 2004, the Unionreferred the issue to the Labour Court, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd November,2005.
The Union agreed to be bound by the Court’s Recommendation.
3. 1. There are no known criteria of numbers on which the Company bases its decisions to give staff upgrades.Upgrading has taken place on the basis of staff "having something to aim for" within the Company based on their service, skills and competency. The promotions given over the years have been based on this and it is the Union's contention that on that basis the Claimant is more than due an upgrade to Shift Leader.
4. 1. The structure of the department is adequate to meet the needs of the business. There is a degree of cross-training and flexibility among the employees. Promotional positions are not automatically filled in the Company. There is no agreement with employees and the Union to do so and precedence exists within the Company where supervisory positions are not replaced after organisational restructure or the departure of employees.
The Union's claim before the Court refers to the Company's failure to appoint the Claimant to a Shift Leader position.
In January, 2003, the Claimant sought an upgrade from Machine Setter Grade to Shift Leader on the basis of his service, expertise and responsibilities and the fact that there was no Shift Leader at the time. The Company rejected the claim on the basis that an agreement had been completed in February, 2003, with the Union which provided for a restructuring of the Metal Shops, involving redundancies and a red- circling arrangement in respect of one Chargehand position. It submitted that there was no business need for a Shift Leader position and there was no available post open.
The Union, on the other hand, stated that the culture, which prevailed in the past, entailed a worker making a case to be upgraded on the basis of their flexibility and on the taking up of extra responsibilities. It contends that the Claimant in this case had abided by these criteria and should, therefore, be upgraded accordingly.
Having considered the matter, the Court accepts that there was a culture in the past, which effectively had no established formal criteria for promotion/upgrading nor did it relate to the requirement to fill a vacancy. Whereas, now due to the competitive pressures facing the Company and the agreement on restructuring completed in February, 2003, the situation has changed and it now has criteria which comply with normal industrial relations practices.
Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances pertaining at this time in this case, the Court can see no justification for the creation of a Shift Leader position where no need exists for one and, therefore, does not recommend in favour of the Union's claim. However, the Court recommends that there should be discussions at local level on the establishment of agreed set criteria for upgradings, regradings, promotions and grade reviews. These discussions should commence without delay.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th November 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.