INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
AMANN INDUSTRIES CORPORATION
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Rates of pay, bonus scheme, sick pay scheme, allowance for warehouse personnel, grading structure, shop steward representation.
2. The Union's claim covers the following issues:-
Rates of pay: the current rate of pay is €8.35 per hour inclusive of Sustaining Progress (SP). The Union is seeking an increase to €10.00 per hour.
Introduction of a bonus scheme:The Union is seeking the introduction of an incentive bonus scheme plant wide.
The introduction of a sick pay scheme:-The Union is seeking a scheme of 12 weeks' duration with six weeks at full pay less a single persons social welfare, and 6 weeks at half pay, social welfare payments retained.
Allowance for warehouse personnel (5) :-The 5 workers are currently paid €325.95 per week. The Union believes that they should be paid a differential.
Shop steward representation:-the Union is seeking that each department within the plant should have a shop-steward. At present there are two, although at the hearing the Company stated that there was a third vacancy.
Grading structures:-the Union is seeking a grading structure and the appropriate monetary benefit as people rise up the grading structure.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a number of conciliation conferences took place. The following proposal was put by the Industrial Relations Officer in a letter dated the 3rd of June, 2006, and was recommended for acceptance by both parties:-
1. It is agreed between the parties that the Company will apply 50 cents per hour increase across all hourly paid grades to take effect from 1st July 2005. This is inclusive of the 2.5% increase under Sustaining Progress which is due on that date
2. It is agreed that full flexibility and co-operation will be given to normal ongoing change.
3. It is agreed that there will be no claim processed for the introduction of a sick pay scheme before 1st January 2007.
4. It is agreed that an examination of the workloads and responsibilities of all assigned warehouse personnel considering their alleged enhanced roles as a result of altered departmental structures will take place. The Company and Union engineers will co-operate in this exercise.
5. It is agreed that all other claims will be dropped forthwith with the sole exception of claims allowable under any new national agreements.
6. The terms and spirit of clauses 3 and 6 of the Company / Union agreement and paragraph 6 of the minutes of the meeting of 10th December 2004 will be honoured by both parties.
However, the proposal was rejected by ballot by the Union members and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 7th of November, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 16th of May, 2006, in Tralee.
3. 1.Rates of Pay:-The current rates of pay are well below comparable rates in the industry (details supplied to the Court).
Bonus scheme:-The introduction of an incentive bonus scheme would be of benefit to the Company and the workers.
Sick pay scheme:-The members' working conditions are poor and a sick pay scheme would give them some protection in the event of illness.
Allowance for warehouse personnel:- Workers in the warehouse department perform the most important logistical function in the plant and are deserving of a differential / allowance.
Shop steward representation :-At present there are only two shop stewards for the whole plant. The Company / Union agreement (1999) recognises that each department should have shop-steward representation.
Grading structures:-The skills required by the workers in the various departments justify the introduction of an agreed grading system.
4. 1. The textile industry is notoriously cost-sensitive and highly competitive. The Company must maintain a low cost base with high flexibility and it must retain the ability to compete for business internally.
2. The Company has made numerous attempts, including four conciliation conferences, to sort out the dispute.
3.Rates of pay:-The pay element of each National Agreement has consistently been honoured, although under the difficult prevailing circumstances, it is not certain that this will continue. Conceding the Union's claim is not possible.
4.Bonus scheme:-This claim is cost-increasing and is not affordable.
5.Sick pay scheme:- The Company already has a quarterly time and attendance bonus of €200 to eligible, hourly paid employees in an effort to promote good attendance. The cost for administering the scheme in 2005 was €40,000.
6.Allowance for warehouse personnel:-The claim is in breach of the Company / Union agreement under Clause 7 which relates to co-operation and flexibility.
7.Grading structures:-This claim is also in breach of Clause 7 of the Company / Union agreement. The potential added cost of a grading structure would be unsustainable.
8.Shop steward representation:-There are currently 2 elected shop stewards and there is a vacancy for another. Clause 6 of the Company / Union agreement states"not more than one shop steward will be appointed within the Company".
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court recommends that the IRO's proposal dated 3rd June, 2005, be accepted and implemented by the parties, with the exception of the sick pay scheme.
Regarding the sick pay scheme, the Court recommends that the Company introduces, and the Union accepts, a non-contributory scheme with effect from 1st January, 2007, which will provide for
- 4 weeks at full pay and
- 4 weeks at half pay
( less social welfare entitlement in both cases)
- no payment for the first 3 days of any illness; and
- Employees must have 12 months' service with the Company in order to qualify for inclusion in the scheme.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st May, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.