INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ADT FIRE & SECURITY LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Severance terms
2. The Company provides electronic security services to approximately 20,000 customers from three locations in Ireland - Dublin, Cork and Galway. The dispute concerns 14 workers in the Dublin Alarm Receiving Centre know as the ARC. These workers cover the Alarm Centre on a 24 hour/7 days per week/365 days per year basis by working shifts of 12 hours, 4 days on and 4 days off.
The Company has decided to restructure the ARC operation to a 5-day week (08.30 - 17.00 hours Monday to Friday) and will offer cover for the remaining hours to its Manchester ARC. The result is that the 14 workers in the Dublin ARC will be made redundant (the Union considers it as job displacement rather than redundancy). The Company has offered redundancy terms of 6 weeks' pay per year of service, including statutory payments, at 2 weeks at €600 per week and 4 weeks at €570 per week. The Company has calculated the €570 as base pay per week. The Union is seeking that the 4 weeks should be calculated at €750 per week which would be the average weekly earnings for the workers concerned. The Union is also seeking the application of Towards 2016 from the 1st of January, 2006.
The parties had been before the Labour Court twice before in relation to a new agreement for the ARC workers but could not reach agreement. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission but again agreement could not be reached and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 16th of July, 2007, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th of July, 2007.
3. 1. This is not a straightforward redundancy situation. Rather it is job displacement as the work is being transferred to Manchester.
2. The Company's offer of €570 per week for the 4 weeks is well short of the average weekly earnings of €750 due to the workers operating a 24/7 shift system and a 42-hour week.
3. Because of their age profile many of the workers will find it difficult to get alternative work.
4. 1. The Company is currently operating at a loss. Because of this it cannot afford to pay more than it has offered, an offer that the Company considers generous. The average settlement is €61,110. Conceding the Union's claim would add another €350,000 to the overall cost.
2. All 14 workers have been offered the opportunity to apply for the new positions as a reasonable alternative. However, all have declined.
The Court has considered the submissions made by the parties and recommends as follows:
(1) A severance package of 4 weeks' average earnings per year of service (to be calculated by disregarding the final thirteen weeks of earnings and taking the average earnings of the previous twenty six weeks) in addition to statutory entitlements.
(2) The terms of Towards 2016 to be applied from the due dates, i.e.
phase 1 from 1st January, 2006
phase 2 from 1st July, 2006
phase 3 from 1st April, 2007
and to apply to earnings for the purpose of calculating the ex-gratia severance payment at (1) above.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th July, 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.