INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. 1. Introduction of JLC rates of pay. 2. Payment of 4% bonus.
2. In June 2004 Almar Grocers Ltd bought the Supervalu franchise in Mitchelstown, Co Cork. At the time there were 54 employees and these people transferred to Almar Grocers Ltd trading as Reidy's Supervalu, Mitchelstown. The Transfer of Undertaking Regulations applied and the terms and conditions of employment were maintained as per those Regulations.
In August 2004 the Union wrote to the Company outlining areas of concern whereby Management had breached the existing terms and conditions of MANDATE members. The Company did not accept the Union's issues. Clear indications were given that the Company had a principle difficulty with the bonus. The Company were also implementing the JLC rates of pay for new entrants without consultation or agreement with the Union.
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 matter was referred to the Labour Court on the 19th April, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 9th November, 2005.
3. 1.A comprehensive agreement was negotiated between the Union and the former employer (Dairygold) in 1996 which governs all the terms and conditions of our members. In the intervening period to 2004 several further agreements were negotiated.
2. The 4% bonus was paid to Union members through the 1996 Agreement and there was no reference to a qualifying period for the bonus.
3. The introduction of JLC Grocery Rates of Pay without consultation or agreement is not acceptable to the Union. All members regardless of age or service are entitled to Union rates.
4. 1.The Company only apply JLC Grocery Rates of Pay to under 18s' and job entrant's rates for over 18s'.Once a person acquires the relevant experience and become an experienced adult worker they are put on the agreed Union rates.
2. The Company is willing to negotiate a productivity / performance bonus to apply to all its employees.
3. The Company is trying to apply best practice to the store and has maintained the employment numbers in the store.
In the Court's view the transfer of a business is not a basis upon which a collective agreement can be set aside. There is clearly a valid subsisting agreement between MANDATE and the business the terms of which should be honoured.
Accordingly, the Court recommends that the Employer continue to apply the terms of the Agreement to all employees unless and until it is voluntarily renegotiated.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th November, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.