INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BEAMISH & CRAWFORD
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Hearing Arising from LCR17751.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between Beamish & Crawford and TEEU in relation to the application of a productivity payment to craftsmen employed by the Company, following on from changes in the Company's bottling plant. A previous Labour Court Recommendation (LCR 17751) stated that there was "some merit" in the claim for a productivity payment but that further local level negotiations should take place and unresolved issues could be referred back to the Court for a definitive recommendation.
The Union is claiming that the Company failed to enter into negotiations as provided for in (LCR 17751). The Company's position is that the productivity payment is inappropriate on the basis that the change required of the craftworkers in minimal.
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 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th September, 2005, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. Subsequent to LCR 17751, the Company failed to enter into negotiations regarding the productivity payment
2. There have been major changes in work practices within the Company resulting in increased productivity for the Company. The payment of the increase is appropriate in the circumstances.
4. 1. The change required of the craftsmen in minimal and does not quality for productivity payments.
2. The claim is cost increasing and is precluded under SP and PPF national agreements.
3. In an attempt at resolution, the Company were willing to negotiate a once off payment rather than an ongoing increase.
The Court has considered the latest submissions from both parties. The Court in LCR 17751 found that the craftsmen's claim for a productivity increase similar to that paid to the bottling operatives "had some merit" and recommended that discussions should he held between the parties to measure the changes involved for the craftsmen following which the parties should discuss an appropriate productivity payment. As the issue was unresolved it came back to the Court for a definitive recommendation.
Having further reviewed the matter at this point, the Court concurs with the parties difficulty in attempting to asses the value of the productivity achieved. However, management put forward a document at the hearing on 14th September 2005 (Appendix 1 to the Company's submission), on work practices and operational changes it requires from the craftsmen. The Court is of the view that craftsmen can more appropriately contribute to the Company's overall productivity by agreeing to accept the measures outlined in this document, however, the Court does not endorse point 18 on that list as coming within the terms of this case and, therefore, recommends that this item should be excluded.
The Court has considered the value of the productivity measures contained in this list and compared them with the productivity measures required of the bottling operatives, which included a reduction in manning levels and produced significant savings. The Court recommends that in return for acceptance of the listed work practices and operational changes required from the craftsmen (with exclusion of no. 18), the Company should pay an award of 2% of basic pay as a lump sum on an annual basis, commencing in December, 2005.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th October, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.