INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Redundancy Terms
2. This case concerns a dispute between SIPTU and Irish Ferries in relation to redundancy terms applicable to shore based clerical staff who have been offered voluntary redundancies by the Company. The Union is claiming that these workers be offered six weeks pay per year of service with no cap in line with previous redundancies paid to seafarers employed by the Company.
Management has offered 4 weeks pay per year of service capped at 104 weeks pay. Managements position is that the additional redundancies previously paid to seafarers were necessary in order to achieve co-operation in training the outsourced staff. It contends that the Union's claim is not well founded and without proper precedent in the Company.
The dispute was not 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 matter was referred to the Labour Court on 6th March, 2007 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 1st August, 2007.
3 1 Seafaring staff previously made redundant by the Company were treated more favourably than the clerical staff currently being offered redundancies. It is unacceptable that different terms be offered to different categories of workers employed by the Company.
2 Management has continually frustrated the process by agreeing to implement agreed redundancy terms and then refuse to apply what was agreed. The Union is seeking redundancy terms that are fair and consistent with what has already been paid by the Company in similar circumstances.
4 1 The additional package paid to seafarers was done so on the basis that they provided training/ familiarisation to outsourced staff. This resulted in delays in seeking alternative work and receiving their redundancy payments.
2 The Union's claim is not well founded. The Union cannot look to the highest possible redundancy settlement and seek it for its members. Previous redundancies in the Company occurred in very different circumstances.
Having regard to the background of the negotiations between the parties and their respective positions as explained in the course of the hearing the Court recommends that the offer made on 27th March 2006 be modified as follows:-
- The lump sum payable should be 4.5 weeks per year of service plus statutory entitlements
- The amount should be capped at the equivalent of 135 weeks pay in each individual case
The other elements of the earlier offer should be accepted.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st August 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.