INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Selection criteria for temporary lay-off.
2. The Company employs approximately 60-70 general operatives represented by the Union at its site in Loverhill Industrial Estate. The dispute concerns the selection criteria used by the Company in placing 12 workers on temporary layoff in 2008. The Union's case is that there was no consultation between the parties as to the matrix used for the layoffs and it claims that a number of workers suffered a financial loss. The Company maintains that a number of meetings had taken place and that there was agreement on the matrix used. (A new matrix has more recently been agreed between the parties).
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 18th June, 2010, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th August 2010.
3. 1 The criteria used by the Company were very unfair in the way that the workers were selected (it was based on length of service). The Union would not have agreed to the matrix used by the Company but was not consulted. The Company has still not conceded that selection process was wrong.
4. 1. The Company had no choice but to lay off a number of workers on a temporary basis in 2008. However, the matrix used for selection had been discussed and agreed with the Union/workers. A new matrix has been agreed but the Company believes that if this matrix had been used in 2008 it would not have made a significant difference as to the workers selected then.
The Court notes that the dispute originally referred to the Court has since been resolved. The only residual issue concerns the lay-offs put into effect before agreement was reached.
Having regard to the passage of time since this issue arose, the fact that it has since been resolved and the absence of any dispute concerning the need for lay-offs at the material time, the Court does not believe that any compensatory award could now be justified.
Accordingly, the Court does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th August, 2010______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.