INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
JOHN A WOOD LTD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Maintenance of new plant.
2. John A Woods Limited is a subsidiary Company along with Roadstone Provinces and Roadstone Dublin of the CRH plc Group and is involved in the supply of concrete products. The Company has 220 craft and general employees, the wider group of companies have close to 700 employees in these categories. The issue in dispute relates to the maintenance of a new readymix concrete plant in Classis, Co. Cork. Following the closure of two depots all the work concerned was incorporated into one new plant. The Unions on behalf of its members employed as craftsmen maintain that as a direct result of the opening of the new plant, productivity has almost doubled. This has lead to an increased workload for members and maintenance of a more technical nature. The Unions are seeking a substantial increase in pay to compensate for the change which has taken place and their claim is for:
- The basic Craft rate that would match the CIF Registered Agreement of €18.60 by 1/1/08;
- A comprehensive agreement to be drawn up to bring the New Ready Mid Plant (NRMP) on line, allowing for work life balance and the needs of the NRMP to be met;
- A stand by and call out system should be introduced allowing orderly cover of the Plant needs with the appropriate remuneration of the Craft Group.
The Company maintains that an agreement was reached with the Unions in July, 2000 relating to co-operation with change. It is Management's position that any change which may have taken place is covered by this agreement and accordingly rejects the Unions claim.
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 24th February, 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 20th September, 2006.
3.1 The Company is adamant that no new technology is in use here. The plant consists of hoppers, conveyors and mixers, all of which previously existed in the Classis site and elsewhere within the Company. Not withstanding this the Unions involved gave an undertaking on the 5th July, 2000 that as a consequence of a 28% pay increase agreed on that date, that"full co-operation would be given in relation to the introduction of new technology and no claims for compensation would be considered,details supplied to Court.
2. The Company contends that the workload of the fitters is no greater now than prior to the plant's installation.
3. The Company is a party to an agreement on national rates of pay in the Roadstone/Wood group of companies. It cannot facilitate rate increases in a single location as it will have repercussive effects on all employees in all locations in all 3 companies.
4. The Unions did submit a separate claim for an increase in pay across all 3 companies which was the subject of Labour Court Recommendation LCR 18651 issued on the 20th July, 2006. Any claim for an increase in pay can only be dealt with through a national forum and not on an individual location basis.
4.1 The Classis plant provides the raw materials for the existing blockyard and will also serve the New Ready Mid Plant, (NRMP) also at Ovens, in production since April, 2005. The workload at the existing facility is very high and the craft group are adamant that the ever rising demand on them cannot be maintained. The obvious significant extra demand of the NRMP has not been considered by Management in a pro active way.
2. The Craft Group tried locally to address the various issues, ie. (i) workload and (ii) hourly rate. With regard to workload, the Union argues, with inadequate resources, how can the Craft Group maintain the Classic Pit Plant with no provision made locally for the NRMP.
3. The present hourly rate is €13.67 per hour, which the Unions argue is very low by Maintenance Craft norms, compared with the CIF Registered Agreement of €17.36. The Company is a Construction Industry Federation (CIF) registered Company with part sick pay covered by the CIF Scheme.
The Union submitted a number of claims to the Court concerning the working arrangements for the New Ready Mix Plant at the company’s plant based at Classis, Co. Cork. The claims related to the hourly rate of pay, stand by and call out arrangements. As a claim for an increase in pay for the overall Roadstone/Wood Group of Companies has been the subject of a separate claim, which was referred to the Labour Court (Labour Court Recommendation No: 18651 refers), the Unions decided to defer this part of the claim before this Court. Therefore, at this point, the Court issues the following recommendation in respect of the remaining claim only:
Stand By and Call Out Arrangement
The Company supplied information to the Court specifying its stand-by requirements:
|Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday|
3.34 – 7am 5.45 – 7am 5.45 – 7am 5.45 – 7am 5.45 – 7am
with no stand-by requirement on Saturday or Sunday. On occasions there may be a requirement for one morning to start at 4.30am. Therefore, the normal stand-by requirement will be 9 ½ hours per week
The Company offered to pay 20% of the hours required as a weekly payment to the designated fitter each week and estimated the approximate number of call outs at one every 15 weeks.
Based on the details supplied the Court recommends that the Company’s offer should be increased to 25% of the hours required as a weekly payment.
The Company offered to make the same arrangements with the fitters as applies to all Roadstone/Wood locations for call-out – a minimum payment of 4 hours @ double time, plus mileage allowance at the company rate.
The Court recommends in favour of the Company’s proposal on call-out payments.
The Court recommends acceptance of the above conditional upon an immediate engagement by craftsmen in maintenance work in the mortar plant.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.