INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TESCO IRELAND LTD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
2. This dispute concerns the Union's claim that the Company did not adhere to the terms of the 2006 Agreement, which introduced a Company Share Bonus Scheme. 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 31st July, 2012, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 1st November, 2012.
3 1 SIPTU members accepted the Agreement in February 2006 and were, accordingly, entitled to an additional 1% payment.
2 Workers belonging to another trade union did not accept the Agreement until November 2006 and the Company used this as an excuse to withhold the additional 1% payment.
3 The Company should not penalise the SIPTU members for the democratic decision of members of another trade union.
4 1 The Company Share Bonus Scheme could not be introduced until accepted by all eligible employees and therefore it could not be implemented prior to Christmas 2006.
2 The Revenue Commissioners' rules clearly state that the Company Share Bonus Scheme could not be introduced until it was accepted by both unions.
3. Concession of this claim would inevitably result in a knock-on claims.
The matter before the Court concerns the Union’s claim that the Company did not adhere to the terms of an Agreement reached in 2006. The Union voted to accept the comprehensive Agreement in February 2006 and submitted that the Company’s delay in adhering to part of that agreement i.e. to introduce a Company Share Bonus Scheme to incorporate the existing Christmas Bonus, was a breach of the Agreement.
The Court notes that tripartite negotiations on the comprehensive Agreement including the introduction of a Share Bonus Scheme took place between the Company, Mandate Trade Union and SIPTU in 2005. By February 2006 SIPTU had voted upon the proposals, however Mandate did not vote until November 2006 and accordingly the introduction of the Share Bonus Scheme for the financial year 2007/2008 and was paid out in May 2008. The Union sought compensation for the delay and sought the difference between the 2007 Christmas Bonus and 5% bonus share.
The Company stated that introduction of the Company Share Bonus Scheme was subject to Revenue Commissioner rules and regulations and accordingly required all eligible employees to be signed up to the scheme before it could get Revenue approval, consequently, the Company maintained that the matter was entirely out of its hands. Until both Unions had signed up to the terms of the Agreement the Share Bonus Scheme could not be introduced.
Having considered the submissions of both sides the Court notes that the Union fully accepts the Company’s position with regard to the Revenue Commissioner regulations, however, it sought compensation for the delay which ensued following its acceptance of the Agreement in 2006.
The Court is satisfied that tripartite negotiations were entered into and on conclusion of that Agreement the Company implemented its terms in full and in accordance with Revenue Commissioner rules and regulations and accordingly does not recommend in favour of the Union’s claim.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th November, 2012______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.