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: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Compensation for loss of earnings.
2. This dispute concerns a claim for compensation for loss of earnings, which was caused by the revision of production standards and the reduction of bonus payments. This 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 dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 5th August, 2010, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 12th October, 2011.
3 1 The Workers' cooperation has delivered significant cost savings to the Company.
2 The Workers have suffered a considerable and ongoing loss.
3 The Workers should be compensated at twice the annual loss.
4 1 The Company operates in a very competitive and low margin business.
2 The Company cannot afford to pay the compensation sought by the Workers.
3. Concession of this claim would lead to similar claims from other Workers in the Company.
The Court has carefully considered the submissions of both parties in this case.
The Court notes that there are two distinct issues in dispute between the parties. The Union is seeking compensation for loss of earnings arising out of the provisions of an agreement concluded at the LRC on 25th June 2009. The Company contends that the plant is not viable with its present cost structure and is seeking to bring it down to sustainable levels.
Having considered the matter the Court recommends that:
1. The Company agree to pay to each of the workers affected compensation for loss of earnings in the amount of 1.5 times their annual loss.
2. Payment should be made in three equal amounts on the following basis:
- a. Phase one should be paid on acceptance of this Recommendation.
b. Phase two should be paid when agreement is reached between the parties on the measures required to bring the costs of production at the plant to sustainable levels. These discussions should be completed within six months of the date of this Recommendation and should also address the penultimate paragraph of the agreement of 25th June 2009.
c. Phase three should be paid six months after the agreement referred to at b above has been concluded between the parties and subject to full co-operation with its implementation by both sides.
The parties may, at any time during this process, refer back to the Court any issues between them for a definitive Recommendation.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th November, 2011______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.