INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HASBRO IRELAND LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Sustaining Progress - Cost Offsetting Measures.
2. Hasbro Ireland Ltd is a Company that manufactures board games in Waterford. It employs 500 people on a year round basis and also a number of seasonal employees.
The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Company and the Union in relation to the application of wage increases due under Part Two of Sustaining Progress.
The Company is invoking Clause 1.10 (iii) of Sustaining Progress which provides that cost offsetting measures may be sought prior to the payment of the increases.
The cost offsetting measures being sought are as follows:-
1. Staggering of breaks in order to facilitate continuous running
2. A termination of "bumping" on the basis of seniority when production patterns change. (Employees move to preferred positions and the Company states that this affects efficiency).
3. Change to patterns of night work in order to facilitate maintenance.
The Union rejects the claim on the basis that the Company did not have an entitlement to seek cost offsetting measures, nor was there any cost offsetting measures sought from other Unions in the Company.
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 of May, 2205, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 11th of October, 2005, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The cost offsetting measures are being sought in an attempt to retain the manufacturing viability of the Company at its plant in Ireland, which is currently being lost to low labour cost countries, such as India and China.
2. The internal performance of the Company is now vital to the retention of manufacturing within the Company's plant in Waterford. Initiatives are in place to reduce costs and to improve production.
3. Cost offsetting measures have been sought from other Unions also. One Union has agreed the changes while another one is in discussion at the Labour Relations Commission.
4. The "WCM Agreement" concluded in 1998 provides a 10% increase for co-operation with on-going change. This Agreement is not being adhered to in this case.
4. 1. The Company have failed to provide supporting arguments and the relevant financial information to the Union with regard to seeking the cost offsetting measures. This is a breach of the Sustaining Progress Agreement.
2. The Company is profit making and has no apparent difficulties in applying the increases due.
Following consideration of the parties' submissions and the report of the Assessor,
the view of the Court is that the increases due under Sustaining Progress2 should be implemented from the due dates and that the proposed changes (as finally discussed at conciliation in May 2005) be implemented following clarification and discussion and agreement. One should not happen without the other, and the parties should, overall, remind themselves of the issue of global competition, both internal and external.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th October, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.