INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BOOTS RETAIL (IRELAND) LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
2. This case concerns a dispute between Boots Retail (Ireland) Limited (represented by IBEC) and Mandate in relation to reprofiling of rostered hours. The Company's position is that due business needs, it is necessary to re-profile the rostered hours of the staff in the Blanchardstown branches.
The requirement concerns staff who are rostered to work Monday or Tuesday would change one of their days to a Saturday. The Union's position is that proposed change would significantly increase the workload of staff and would be at variance with agreed practices and procedures. It further contends that there is not an optimal level of staff in place in the stores and other non-sales duties will be adversely affected by the changes.
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 matter was referred to the Labour Court on 21st October, 2008 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 12th December, 2008.
3 1 The Company has said that if workers do not accept the changes, they will have their hours of work cut as a result. This is unacceptable. An Agreement concluded between the parties in 2005 provides for other options if agreement cannot be reached on such issues.
2 This issue has arisen as a result of workers who left their employment and have not been replaced. The current staff levels are insufficient to carry out the needs of the business and the proposed changes will adversely affect the current staff.
4 1 As per the 2005 Agreement, Management may change the hours of workers in line with the needs of the business. If staff do not wish to change to working Saturdays in line with the provisions of the Agreement, there may be a need to reduce their working hours.
2 Management do not wish to reduce any workers hours but require the proposed level of change to remain competitive and service the needs of the general public.
The Court has considered the arguments put forward by the parties. Bearing in mind that the 2005 National Agreement reached at the Labour Relations Commission has not yet been reviewed or replaced, and bearing in mind the business imperative in a difficult period for retailers,
the Court recommends that the parties should re-engage locally (with the assistance of the LRC Conciliation Service if found necessary) in order to resolve the local Blanchardstown problem in the spirit of partnership and with neither side exerting pressure of an inimical nature on the other.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd December 2008______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.