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 McGee
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. 1. Redundancy Terms - Voluntary; 2. Post - redundancy - includes (I) Operational Agreement going forward/compensation for moving away from existing agreements (II) Day Group Leaders (III) Machine Minder (IV) Savings from redundancies.
2. Polyglass Limited, located in Ashbourne, Co. Meath, is part of the French owned Chomarat Group and is engaged in the manufacture of a range of reinforcement cladding products for the construction industry. The Company currently employs thirty staff. In 2003 intensive negotiations took place between the parties to discuss proposals put forward by the Company in relation to productivity at the Ashbourne site and the Company's competitive position. The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a number of Conciliation Conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on a number of issues. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 9th August, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
- The issues before the Court are as follows;
- 1. Voluntary redundancy terms;
2. Operational agreement going forward;
3. Compensation for moving away from existing agreements;
4. Loss of promotional positions (Day Group Leader);
5. Machine Minder (retention of rate); and
6. Savings from redundancies.
- 1. Voluntary redundancy terms;
- A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th October, 2005, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The Company has confirmed that it is seeking five voluntary redundancies. The Company proposed statutory plus one and a half weeks' pay per year of service capped at 1.5 years' salary. The Union rejected the proposal as the terms were not acceptable.
2. Due to lack of information and no formal position from the Company on the other items the Union is not in a position to formulate a claim.
4. 1. The Company's redundancy proposals are fair and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances. Existing Company/Union Agreements regarding manning levels cannot be maintained in the context of a redundancy situation.
2. Compensation for moving away from existing agreements is inappropriate and unjustified. The Day Group Leader/Supervisor positions should not be filled as this is totally inconsistent and contrary to the intention of the headcount reductions.
3. The Company's proposals on the Machine Minder issue should be accepted. The issue of "savings" does not arise as no savings are identifiable in the context of drastically reduced activity levels.
While the Court is aware that both the severance terms and certain other matters pertaining to the post-redundancy situation were referred to the Court under Section 26(1) of the 1990 Act (from Conciliation) nevertheless the only matter placed before the Court by agreement at the hearing for a definitive recommendation was the matter of the severance terms.
On this matter, the Court recommends as follows:-
Redundancies should be voluntary in the first instance, should be compensated for at the rate of 2 1/2 weeks' pay per year of service, in addition to statutory entitlements, with a cap of two years' pay.
On acceptance of this Recommendation, the parties should immediately re-engage on the post-redundancy issues. Any of the issues not resolved within four weeks of the date of issue of this Recommendation may be remitted to the Court by agreement for early recommendation. The parties should be aware of the perilous trading position of the Company.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th November, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.