INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Severance Terms
2. This case concerns a dispute between SIPTU and the Company in relation to redundancy terms. The Company, Vita Cortex is involved in the production of filling material for the furniture industry.Its manufacturing plant in Navan is closing and Management claimed to have offered to move production to its Dublin site, retaining the jobs of those employed in Navan and offering a relocation payment to the workers.
As the workers did not agree to this option, Management have introduced compulsory redundancies. At issue between the parties is the terms of the redundancy package. Managements position is that due to its financial position, it cannot sustain the costs of the Union's claim.
The Union is seeking four weeks pay per year of service, inclusive of statutory entitlement, on the basis that the Company can easily afford the costs of the claim, and that many of the workers have long service and have contributed to the Company's previous profitability.
The dispute was not resolved at local level and was the subject of two conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached the matter was referred to the Labour Court on 16th May, 2008 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 30th May, 2008
3 1 The Union's claim of four weeks pay per year of service is fair and reasonable in the circumstances. Many of the workers have long service and have contributed to the success of the Company in the past.
2 The Company will remain in production into the future and have sufficient business going forward to meet the costs of the claim.
4 1 The Navan facility is closing on the basis of the previous losses which it incurred. Management made every effort to move production to Dublin, to maintain the employment of the workers at the new location and the payment of relocation compensation also. This option was rejected and the Company had no option but to introduce compulsory redundancies.
2 The Company cannot sustain the additional costs associated with the claim. The current financial situation in the Company requires that only statutory redundancy be paid. This is in line with previous redundancies in the Company.
Having considered the written and oral submissions of the parties, the Court recommends that due to the compulsory nature of the redundancies arising from the closure of the Company’s business based in Navan:
(a) the Union’s claim for 4 weeks pay per year of service, inclusive of statutory redundancy payments should be conceded for all those with in excess of two years service;
(b) for the two employees with less than two years service, the Court recommends that the longer serving employee should be paid €1,800 and the shorter serving employee should be paid €1,200.
The Court recommends these ex-gratia payments in full and final settlement of the severance claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th May 2008______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.