INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Transfer of payment of wages from cash to paypath.
The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Company and Union in relation to the transfer of wages from cash to Paypath. Punch Industries employs approximately 113 people at its plant in Little Island, Cork. Of the total number of staff employed at the Company, there are currently 11 members of SIPTU who have not agreed to the changeover from receiving their wages in cash to having them paid directly into their bank account. Management had attempted to resolve the difficulties by offering each affected employee €120. This offer was rejected by the Union.
The Union's position is that managements offer is inadequate, as comparable companies have paid far greater amounts in similar circumstances.
Managements position is that it is operating in a very competitive market and must excercise financial restraint if it is to remain competitive.
The dispute was not resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission.
Management's final offer at conciliation was to increase the compensation to €250 per person but this was refused.As agreement was not reached the matter 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 16th June, 2006.
3. 1. Many of the workers involved in this case do not operate bank accounts and the expense of opening and operating one would, over time, be far greater than the compensation offered by the Company.
2. An agreement exists between the Company and Union that the practice of being paid in cash may continue until agreement is reached between the parties. The Union considers the Company's offer as inadequate in the circumstances and is seeking €500 to resolve the matter.
4. 1. Management have held discussions with certain financial institutions and are in the process of negotiating best terms for the workers in question. Management will also make every effort to alleviate any fears that the workers may have with the changeover.
2.The Company's final offer of €250 as outlined at conciliation is very generous given that it is standard industrial practice to be paid directly into a bank account.
The issue before the Court concerns the Company’s proposal to implement payment of wages by Pathpath. The Union sought €500 for each of the employees involved as compensation for the inconvience and expense involved. At Conciliation the Company increased offers previously made and put forward a final offer of €250 compensation. The Industrial Relations Officer outlined a proposal to the parties on how this offer of compensation would be paid; this was detailed in a letter to the parties dated 21st November 2005.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court is of the view that in all the circumstances of this case, the offer made, as detailed in the letter dated 21st November 2005 is a fair and reasonable offer and should be accepted by the parties in full and final settlement of the workers claim in respect of the transfer to Paypath.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd July 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.