INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MUSGRAVE SUPERVALU CENTRA LTD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Minimum acceptance performance rate at MSVC Cork Chill Depot.
2. Musgrave Supervalu Centra is a subsidiary of the Musgrave group. It has 3 ambient depots and 2 chill depots. The dispute concerns 190 employees/ distribution team members (DTM's)at the Cork Chill Depot.
When the Cork Chill Depot opened in 1998 it was decided to introduce a team working culture and pay staff a salary. In the ambient depots pay was based on an individual bonus scheme. The performance in the new depot was very disappointing and in time the team working ethos was abandoned in favour of a more traditional direction.
In 2002 an agreement between the Company and the Union which sought to address a variety of issues, including productivity, was agreed. As part of this agreement an Industrial Engineer, agreed by both parties, proposed that 100 BSI, equal to 111 cases per hour, would be the minimum performance level. Significant pay increases were paid to staff on foot of the 2002 agreement, in advance of the Industrial Engineer completing his work.
The Union disputed the methodology used by the Industrial Engineer and argued that 75 BSI was a more appropriate minimum performance level. The Union were objecting to the number of cases per hour set as being 100 BSI. An independent technical expert from IPC reviewed the matter and his finding were rejected by 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 dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 24th May 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd August 2005.
3. 1.The 2002 agreement between the Company and the Union recognised the imperative of increasing performance levels in Cork Chill Depot. The performance level recommended by the Company's industrial engineer was a minimum of 100 BSI.
2. The minimum acceptable level of performance in the three existing depots where standards are applied is 100 BSI. There is no objective reason to accept anything less than 100 BSI in Cork Chill.
3. A minimum performance level of 100 BSI is consistent with a payment system known as measured day work. Chill employees(DTM's) are paid to perform at well above 100 BSI.
4. 1. Maximum targets set in 2002 have been achieved and yet the Company wants minimum standards in excess of this.
2. The change currently being proposed will shift the onus onto minimum acceptable standards on a daily/weekly/ monthly basis without any incentive to maximise individual productivity.
3. The Union feel that the standard set by the Company is extremely high given current conditions and that the level of effort required to achieve this on a constant basis would be excessive.
The Court, having considered at length the submissions of the parties, is of the view that the minimum performance level should be 97 BSI for DTM's in Chill. The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
13th October, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.