INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SLANE MANUFACTURING LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Claim for increased severance.
2. The Company is located in Slane, Co. Meath and was engaged in the manufacture of bed linen. The Company has been in operation for approximately 50 years and has been under the current ownership for over 12 years. In October, 2004, the Company announced that it was getting out of the manufacturing side of the business which resulted in the redundancy of six workers. One worker who requested redundancy received a redundancy package due to his long service (39 years). The criterion used for the other five workers was last in first out.
A compulsory redundancy package of 3 weeks pay per year of service inclusive of statutory redundancy was made in December, 2004.
Since the redundancy, the Union has been pursuing a claim on behalf of three of the workers for an enhanced package of one additional weeks pay per year of service.
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 25th October, 2005 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 30th June, 2006.
3.1 The Union claims that the Company only consulted with it when the decision to make the workers redundant was taken. It did not have an opportunity to look at alternative arrangements.
2 The Company retained its customer base and is supplying them, with increased profit margins.
3. The Union believes that the Company sold valuable assets since production stopped. This would have generated monies which could be used to increase severance terms.
4. The Company went ahead and paid the workers 3 weeks pay per year of service inclusive of statutory even though it was still in dispute with the Union.
4.1 Slane Manufacturing is a small textile company. Due to increasing competition from the Far East it has become more difficult to operate. Business has been declining, with very low gross margins. Due to this, production was phased out over a couple of years and ceased completely in October 2004.
2. Staff were informed that the Company would pay Statutory Redundancy and an ex-gratia payment of 1 weeks pay for each year of service. It was the belief of management that all staff were satisfied with this arrangement. Redundancy notice in the form of R.P.I was issued to the staff concerned on 20th August, 2004.
3. There was a meeting with the Union at the end of August 2004. The Union made a request for 2 extra weeks pay per year of service, which the Company turned down. Three of those being made redundant were not in dispute. Staff were made redundant on the 29th October, 2004 and received 1 week's pay for each year of service (ex gratia payment) along with Statutory Redundancy.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.