INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
STAINLESS PIPELINE SUPPLIES LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
GROUP OF WORKERS
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Various Issues
2. The case before the Court is in relation to a number of issues concerning a number of workers at the Company. It is the Union's contention that the Company has failed to engage with it on the issues of hours of work, the working climate, grievance and disciplinary procedures, pay determination and sick pay. The Union argues that the Company unilaterally introduced a clocking system which did not quantify the hours of work, that its members do not always receive there 15 minute break and are unsure if its paid or not. The manner in which two of its members were dismissed by the Company is a concern for the Union and it is seeking the implementation of recognised grievance and discipline procedures. The workers have suffered unilateral pay cuts and the Union is seeking the restoration of their pay. It is also seeking the introduction of an agreed sick pay scheme. The Company's position is that a meeting was held with each individual member of staff to ascertain any concerns they wished to bring to Management's attention. Only the workers concerned expressed any dissatisfaction with their terms and conditions of employment. The Company does not believe their employees have concerns in relation to all matters presented by the Union. It is willing to engage directly with staff in relation to any legitimate concern that may be had at employee level.
On the 28th January, 2009 the Union referred the issue to the Labour Court, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 11th August, 2009.
3. 1 The Union is seeking that the hours of work for our members are brought in line with the 39 hour working week and that start and finish times are agree between all parties concerned.
2 Concerning the working climate, a Labour Relations Commission Advisory officer should be introduced to the Company with a view to addressing matters in dispute.
3 The 15 minute break should be paid and scheduled for between 10am and 11am each day and lunch break to be taken between the hours of 1pm and 2pm each day.
4 The Union are seeking the introduction of a grievance and disciplinary procedure that is fully consistent with S.I. 146/2000 which identifies the Union's right to individual representation.
5 The Company has not pleaded inability to pay the terms of Towards 2016 or the follow on Transitional Agreement. The Union are seeking the application of these agreements and the restoration of the 20% pay cut unilaterally introduced.
6 The Union want an agreed sick pay scheme to be introduced.
4. 1 With regard to the hours of work, the Company questioned the workers on this matter and they could not explain the issue nor why it was raised by the Union
2 The working climate was raised as an issue, specifically referring to one manager. Management met with the workers concerned and the manager concerned and addressed the matter. Since the meetings no further complaints have been recieved. Since this incident Management have proactively sought to ensure the workers are content.
3 The Company are satisfied that all breaks are taken in compliance with the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.
4 The members recieved a copy of the Company Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures when they received their Terms and Conditions of Employment in 2007.
5 The Company has never followed National Wage Agreements. The Company is not in a position to afford any pay increases. A 10% pay cut has been introduced and accepted. The proposal was put in writing to all workers six weeks before its introduction.
6 The Company does not operate a sick pay scheme as per the Terms and Conditions of Employment.
The Court, having heard the oral and written submissions of the parties, recommends as follows:
Hours of work:
The workers should be paid a standard 39 hour week, which should include a paid 15 minute break in the morning. Breaks and lunch should be taken at or within regular times and flexibility should be shown on both sides in relation to taking such breaks. Any clocking - in system should be clear and understandable.
The Court recommends that the Advisory Service of the Labour Relations Commission should be contacted by the parties with a view to working towards an improvement in relations between the parties.
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures:
Copies of these procedures should be given to all workers. They should comply with the terms of S.I. 146/2000 and a right of appeal should be enshrined in each procedure. All the steps in the procedure should be clearly set out.
There should be a precisely defined, regular and transparent pay determination system put in place and in determining levels of pay, relevant comparators should be used.
A sick pay system should be put in place which provides for four weeks at full pay and four weeks at half pay, less social welfare payment, on production of a medical certificate. There should be no payment for the first three days of illness.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st August, 2009______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to David P Noonan, Court Secretary.