INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CONCRETE PRODUCTS OF IRELAND
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Bonus, Subsistence, 39 Hour Week.
2. The dispute involves approximately 85 claimants, working as Drivers, Yardstaff and Foremen for Concrete Products of Ireland in Leixlip, Co. Kildare. The Union is seeking enhancement to the bonus, subsistence payments and a reduction in hours worked for Foremen staff to 39 hours.
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 6th September, 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th December, 2006.
3.1 The bonus scheme (for Yardmen) in place at the moment is fixed; it is not linked to output, productivity or profitability. It provides for 21% of basic. It is linked to national wage agreements. It is not unusual for Yardmen to work in excess of 48 hours per week. Productivity has increased enormously over the last number of years. Three staff who left over the last 12 months have not been replaced The Union have attempted to engage in negotiations with a view to putting in place a bonus scheme that would reflect this increase in productivity.
2. The Drivers Bonus is paid on a radial system. The structure is as follows: 0-20 miles = 1 run, 20-70 miles = 2 runs, plus 70 miles plus = 3 runs. The Unions claim is for an additional radial to be added at 90 miles and for this to be equivalent to 4 runs. This would reward the drivers adequately for the longer runs that were not envisaged at the time of design.
3. The subsistence rates currently stands at €4.31 for 5 hours. The Union is seeking to have an 8 hour rate of €20.00.
4. The Union is seeking the introduction of a 39 hour week for Foremen. Currently they are obliged to work a 42 hour week. The Company did concede to this claim during conciliation talks, including an individual claim by one Foreman. However, the quid pro quo was for the Union to drop the substantive claims. This was rejected by the Union.
4.1 All the Claimants concerned are paid in accordance with the agreed Company pay structure and they are currently in receipt of the second phase of the national agreement 'Towards 2016'. Their pay rates, bonus rates and allowances have at all time been adjusted in line with this and previous agreements.
2. The current bonus rates of yard operatives, drivers and foremen are not out of line with general industry and is well in line with the recent survey by IBEC (September 2005) which covered four hundred employment and over fifty thousand employees.
3. The Company has at all times rejected these claims on the reasonable basis that they are disallowable under the current national agreement as they are straight forward 'cost increasing' claims.
4. A major aspect of any potential concession of these unwarranted claims would most definitely result in subsequent claims by other staff in other functions and this would seriously undermine further the Company's capacity to contain costs, and maintain legitimate order in the current pay structures.
Having considered the submissions of the parties the Court recommends as follows in relation to the Union's claims:-
Yard Workers Bonus
The Court notes that this bonus is not directly related to productivity. Within the system workers are expected to work up to but not exceeding an operator incentive index of 100%. The Union contends that productivity has increased and that this increase is not capable of being reflected in the system as it is presently structured.
The Company told the Court that they are agreeable to have the level of productivity measured by an appropriate Union expert for the purpose of ascertaining if the agreed 100% performance ceiling is being exceeded. The Court recommends that the Union should avail of the Company's offer in this regard if it is contended that the level of productivity is above that contemplated by the scheme, if it transpires that the level of output is above the agreed ceiling the parties should discuss the situation. The Court does not, however, see any substantial basis upon which it could recommend that the structure of the scheme, as agreed, should be altered.
The Court cannot identify any basis upon which it could recommend the introduction of a 90 mile band for the purposes of the Drivers scheme.
The Court recommends that the Company introduce a rate of €9.06 where a driver is detained away from base for 10 hours or more.
Issues Relating to Foremen
The Court recommends that the claim for overtime after 39 hours and the claim in relation to the rate of one individual be conceded.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.