INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
GALCO STEEL LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-035643-Ir-05-DI.
2. The appeal concerns a worker who has been employed as a maintenance electrician / fitter since 1995. The Union claimed that the worker should have been paid the 1st Phase of the PESP agreement (2.5%) with effect from 1st January 1996 and that as this increase was never applied to his basic pay he has suffered significant financial loss of income as successive National Wage Agreements have been applied to his pay since 1996. Management rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. On the 24th January, 2006 the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows
"Having reviewed the submissions made by the parties I find against the claimant's complaint".
On the 27th February, 2006 the Union appealed the Recommendation to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal on the 25th May, 2006.
3. 1. The claimant's letter of confirmation of employment of 30th January, 1996, refers to his next wage review under PESP as being 1st July, 1996. The first phase of the agreement was due on the 1st January, 1996. The fact that it was not applied to the claimant points to an anomaly which has continued for ten years. His current rate of pay (€14.32) is clearly out of line with the current accepted minimum craft rate (€16.85).
2. The €50 per week which the Company contends was paid to the claimant above National Wage Agreements, was part of a comprehensive agreement negotiated with the Company in relation to the introduction of shift rotation and was paid to all workers in the Company. Even with the application of the increases agreed, the claimant's rate still remains out of line.
4. 1. The claimant was clearly informed in his letter of confirmation of employment that his starting rate of pay would not attract any further pay increases until his probation was determined. He was not due an increase of 2.5% in January, 1996, as he now claims and has received all increases due to him under National Wage Agreements.
2. In addition, the Company adjusted the claimant's rate of pay to bring it in line with the more senior electrician in the Company and he was in receipt of an increase of €50 approximately per week above National Wage Agreements.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court is of the view that the Company’s correspondence to the worker in January 1996 was very clear and notes that this letter was not challenged. Furthermore, from the evidence given the Court is satisfied that the Company has fulfilled its obligations to the worker and there are no outstanding payments due.
Therefore, the Court upholds the Rights Commissioner’s recommendation and dismisses the worker’s appeal.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd June, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.