INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
S6(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2001
CASTLE T FURNITURE
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Request By A Trade Union Or Excepted Body For A Determination In Relation To Labour Court Recommendation No.19002
2. The Union requested a meeting with the employer following a meeting with its members in December 2005. The Union wished to discuss the non payment of "Towards 2016" to staff and a number of other issues. As the employer did not respond to the Union's correspondence, the matter was referred to the Advisory Service of the Labour Relations Commission. The parties held a number of meetings with the Advisory Service but at no time did they meet directly. Following these meetings a proposal was issued by the Advisory Service in June 2006 which was accepted by the Union but not implemented by the employer. Further discussions were held with the Advisory Service in July 2006. The Employer indicated that trading circumstances prevented them from paying "Towards 2016". In September 2006 the employer supplied figures to the Union outlining their trading difficulties. The Union had the figures assessed and they concluded that the payment of "Towards 2016" was possible. The Union requested that the matter be referred to the Labour Court. A Labour Court hearing took place under Section 2(1) of the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004. The Company did not attend. In Labour Court Recommendation No. 19002 the Court recommended that the terms of Towards 2016 be paid by the Company backdated to January, 2006. Following the issuing of this Recommendation and further contact from the Union the Company did not fully implement the terms of Towards 2016. The Company indicated in a letter to the Court that they intended to implement the increases due to staff from January, 2007.
The Union referred the dispute back to the Labour Court for a Determination under Section 6(1)of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001 as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004. A Labour Court hearing took place on 11th February, 2008. The Company notified the Court that it would not be attending.
3. 1The Union claim is for the application of "Towards 2016". The Company is refusing to pay basic cost of living increases to workers while the wages of Directors continue to increase. The workers in this employment have not received a pay increase since July 2005. The current rate of pay is less than comparable employers.
2The Union does not accept that the Company cannot afford to pay the increases due. The Company have experienced financial difficulties in the past but Directors have been withdrawing money and under budgeting which exacerbates the appearance of the financial situation. This renders the argument that they cannot afford to pay invalid.
3 The Company has partially implemented LCR No. 19002. The payments however commence from 1st January, 2007. The Recommendation clearly specifies that payments should commence from 1st January, 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 11th November, 2007 to the Court, the Union contended that the issues, the subject of the Labour Court Recommendation No 19002 made under Section 5 of the Act have not been resolved and requested the Court to issue a Determination.
In a letter dated 29th January 2008, the Company wrote to the Court stating that it had implemented increases in pay and sought to obviate the hearing scheduled for 11th February 2008. The letter stated that pay increases would be applied in the following manner:
-3% with effect from 1st January 2007
-2% with effect from 1st July 2007
-2.5% with effect from 1st January 2008
The employer did not attend and the Company was not represented at the Court hearing on 11th February 2008.
Section 6 of the Acts, provide:
- “6 (1) Where, in the opinion of the Court, a dispute that is the subject of a recommendation under section 5 has not been resolved, the Court may, at the request of a trade union or excepted body and following a review of all relevant matters, make a determination.
(2) A determination under subsection (1) may have regard to terms and conditions of employment, and to dispute resolution and disciplinary procedures, in the employment concerned but shall not provide for arrangements for collective bargaining.
(3) A determination under subsection (1) shall be in the same terms as a recommendation under section 5 except where-
- (a) the Court has agreed a variation with the parties, or
(b) the Court has decided that the recommendation concerned or a part of that recommendation was grounded on unsound or incomplete information.”
- (a) the Court has agreed a variation with the parties, or
Having considered the Union’s submissions and the Company’s letter, the Court notes that no arguments have been put forward that the recommendation was based on unsound or incomplete information and no agreement to vary the recommendation was made.
In these circumstances, and in accordance with Section 6(3) of the Act, the Court must make a determination in the same terms as the recommendation and does so as follows:
- In all the circumstances, the Court recommends that the terms of “Towards 2016” should be applied to the workers rates of pay, and the following increases should be paid with retrospect effect from the following dates:
3% from 1st January 2006
2% from 1st July 2006
2.5% from 1st March 2007
2.5% from 1st September 2007
The terms of this Determination should be implemented within one month from the date on which it is issued.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd March, 2008______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to David P Noonan, Court Secretary.