INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
S6(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2001
QK COLDSTORES LIIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Request by the Union for a Determination in relation to Labour Court Recommendation No. LCR18556.
2. A Labour Court hearing was held on the 18th October, 2006.
The matter before the Court is a request by the SIPTU for a determination pursuant to Section 6(1) of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001 as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004 (the Acts). By letter dated 25th July, 2006 to the Court, the Union contends that the issues, the subject of the Labour Court Recommendation No 17098 made under Section 5 of the Act have not been resolved and requested the Court to issue a Determination.
The Labour Court issued Recommendation No 18556 on 10th May 2006. The Union wrote to the Company on 29th June 2006 indicating its acceptance of the recommendation. The Union contended that management has not implemented the recommendation to date. Management submitted to the Court that it was reluctant to implement the terms of the recommendation, as the workers were not prepared to adhere to the requirements on overtime availability.
Having considered the submissions of both parties, the Court hereby issues the following determination under Section 6(1) on the outstanding issues: -
Hourly Rates Of Pay and Pay Scales
The Court determines that the current rates be adjusted as follows: -
High Reach Forklift Drivers: €465.00 per week
Counter Balance Forklift: €445.00 per week
The Court determines that these rates should be further increased in line with any new wage agreement agreed at national level with effect from 1st June 2006.
The Court determines that in return for acceptance of the increases in pay, workers should facilitate the Company’s request to work the overtime on Saturdays and Sundays during the peak season. The Company should endeavour to ensure that workers are provided with rosters at the beginning of the season and that every effort is made to set rosters agreed with the workforce.
In a letter to the Union dated 22nd June 2006, copied to the Company, the Court issued clarification on its recommendation under this heading, it stated:
- “in relation to your point regarding the recommended pay increases and the Company’s requirement for rostered overtime. The Court accepts that it cannot make it a precondition, however, it made its recommendation on the basis that it would not be unreasonable for the Company to expect some flexibility in return for the level of increases in pay recommended by the Court.”
Sick Pay Scheme
The Court determines that the employees accept the Company’s offer to introduce a sick pay scheme made at the Advisory Service. The offer was outlined as follows:
Service Duration of Benefit
0 – 12 months : no entitlement
12 – 36 months : 15 days sick leave less Social Welfare Benefit
36 months + : 20 days sick leave less Social Welfare Benefit
No payment for the first three days of illness, Medical certification must be submitted to the Company on the third day of illness. A single days absence may be deemed as unauthorised absence.
The Company has a PRSA in place and has given a commitment to review the claim for the introduction of a pension scheme in mid 2007, depending on the Company’s financial situation at the time. At that time consideration will be given by the Company to making employer contributions to the scheme for all those employees who wish to contribute to a scheme. The Union informed the Court that this commitment would be acceptable to their members. Accordingly, the Court determines that the Company honour its commitment in respect of the claim for a pension scheme.
Health and Safety Issues
The Union raised a number of Health and Safety issues, concerning the training of Forklift Drivers, appointment of trained safety representative, provision of a safety statement and lifting of weights. The Company indicated that these issues are currently being addressed, a new safety statement has been devised and is available to all, safety training and training on forklifts is currently underway and progress has been made on introducing other safety measures designed to eliminate the necessity to lift heavy weights. The Union informed the Court that it is satisfied that the Company has made commitments to address the issues raised.
The Court determines that the commitments on health and safety given by the Company at the hearing should be honoured.
Procedures to Deal with Changes in Working Hours
The Union raised a difficulty with the notification of changes in working hours which occurs on Fridays, stating that insufficient notification is required when workers are required to start one hour later, with consequential changes to finishing time.
The Court determines that notification of changes in starting time/finishing time must be notified at least 24 hours in advance.
Furthermore the Court determines that requirements to work overtime after normal finishing times on Fridays should be notified to the workers concerned by no later than 2.00pm on Friday.
Grievance and Disputes Procedures
The Union claimed that the current internal procedures for the processing of issues relating to individual grievances and disciplinary matters are inadequate in that they do not provide for representation of employees by a trade union in appropriate cases.
The Court determines that the Company honour its commitment to put in place a disciplinary and grievance procedure which will conform with the general provisions of the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures (SI 146 of 2000) and that appropriate provision will be made for representation by an employee representative as provided by paragraph 4.4 of the Code.
Any dispute on this issue should be processed through the procedures provided for by Section 43(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990.
Code of Practice on Employee Representatives (S.I. 169 of 1993)
The Union claimed that the Company should apply the above-mentioned Code of Practice. The term "Employee Representative" is defined by this Code as follows: -
- "employee of an undertaking or establishment who have been formally designated employee representatives for that undertaking or establishment by a trade union in accordance with the rules of that trade union and any employer/trade union agreement which relates to the appointment of such representatives in that undertaking or establishment and who normally participate in negotiations about terms and conditions of employment for all or a section of the workforce and who are involved in the procedures for the settlement of any disputes or grievances which may arise in that undertaking or establishment."
It is clear that this Code of Practice is directed at employment in which collective bargaining normally takes place. As it is not the practice of the Company to engage in collective bargaining this Code of Practice is not applicable to its employees and the Court does not determine that the Union's claim be conceded.
The determination herein, save where otherwise appears, should be implemented within one month from the date of this determination.
The Court so determines.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th November, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.