INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. (A) Daily rate, (B) headage payment, (C) service pay, (D) summer bonus.
2. The issue before the Court concerns a number of cost- increasing claims lodged by the Union in respect of their members in the abattoir at the Dawn Meats plant at Grannagh in Waterford. The Company position is that the claims are cost-increasing and therefore precluded under the terms of Sustaining Progress.
In January 2004 the Union wrote to the Company setting out a number of issues in regard to pay and conditions. The Company made a number of attempts to improve the situation and in March 2005 tabled a proposal for discussion. The proposal centered on changes to the headage system, together with a number of changes in work practices that were necessary to improve competitiveness. The offer was 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 22nd June, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 9th December, 2005.
3. 1. The Company has consistently provided scales with kill levels that it knew would never be achieved. The average kill is well below the point at which the first bonus would be paid.
2. Our members believe that the Company is in a position to address the issue of realistic earning potential by introducing a daily rate of €100 per day and increase the headage to €7.62 per day.
3. An employment bonus is paid to employees in the Boning Hall on the basis of their service. No such bonus is applied in the Slaughter Hall despite numerous claims to introduce a similar scheme.
4. 1.There is overcapacity in the industry and this has prevented the Company and other processors from operating efficiently.
2. The only way the Company can entertain the claim is through some adjustments in pay systems that would either be cost-neutral or more cost-efficient.
3. The claim is cost-increasing and therefore prohibited under the terms of the Sustaining Progress Agreement.
The Court , having considered at length the submissions of the parties, makes the following recommendations:-
The Union's members should accept the productivity measures as outlined by the Company in it's proposal of March 2005. That offer should be improved as follows:-
- the offered base rate should be increased from €90 to €95 per day for a kill of 300 cattle with an additional €0.10 per head thereafter, and
- the service bonus of €2.54 p.w. (after two years' employment) rising to €12.70 p.w. (after 6 years of employment), which is paid to workers in the Boning Hall,
should apply to the Claimants.
The above package should be accepted by both parties in final resolution of the matters at issue.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st February, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.