INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Responsibility for the work involved in changing gloves in Glove Boxes.
2. Glaxo SmithKline, Cork is a pharmaceutical plant producing primary drug substances. The plant has been designated a Global Supply Site as well as being a New Product Introduction Site. To retain the site's status the plant has to be cost effective with a very strong focus on flexibility and innovation.
The dispute before the Court concerns the refusal of Process Operators to continue to carry out what the Company claims is the normal work of replacing gloves in glove boxes in the manufacturing area of GSK Cork. The dispute arose following a difference between Operators and Craftsmen as to who had responsibility for replacing the gloves in glove boxes. The refusal is by those established in the carrying out of this work, and also by additional Operators whom the Company wish to train to carry out this work as required.
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 29th 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. The Union disputes that the practice of their members changing glove boxes is a long established practice.
2. The practice that began in Central Milling /Nano Milling was brought in without the knowledge or agreement of the Union.
3. The Union has no desire to get involved in any argument with any other Union over work matters that they have not clarified they are willing to give up.
4. 1. The continuation by Operators established in the changing of gloves in the glove boxes should be re-established as there is no objective reason why it should be otherwise.
2. It is unfair and a matter of some risk for the Company if established Operators continue with their refusal to perform this part of their normal work and additional Operators do not train to carry out this work as required.
3. The Company has a right to expect that the staff concerned would honour obligations on the continuity of normal work practice.
It is clear that the work in question has been undertaken by the operative group heretofore. It is noted that the Company is merely seeking the continuance of an established practice.
In the circumstances the Court can see no justifiable basis on which the operative group should not continue to undertake this work.
Any issue which may arise concerning demarcation of work should be resolved between the unions through the appropriate ICTU procedures.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th November, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.