RECOMMENDATION NO. LCR20802
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2012
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman : Mr Hayes
Employer Member : Ms Cryan
Worker Member : Mr McCarthy
1. Restoration of bonus.
Due to the downturn in construction activity Management identified a need to reduce costs in order to ensure the survival of the Company and protect employment. A process of engagement with the Trade Unions commenced but no agreement was reached.
The matter was referred to the Labour Court and a number of Recommendations issued. The Company accepted and implemented the Court’s Recommendations. Amongst the measures the Company introduced was a reduction in the annual bonus scheme.
When the Unions determined that Management had secured the savings it had outlined to the Labour Court they sought the full restoration of the bonus scheme. Discussions took place between the parties but no agreement was reached. The Unions commenced strike action in pursuit of that claim. The matter was then referred back through procedures for a definitive Recommendation.
The 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 27th June, 2014, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 3rd July , 2014.
1. The Construction sector is entering a period of growth. Over the next three years a number of major infrastructural projects are due to commence. The Company will benefit substantially from these opportunities.
2. The Company has achieved the savings originally sought from the staff. They are now seeking to extract additional savings that were not part of the original proposal.
3. The Workers are seeking a full restitution of their bonus payments and are not prepared to accept the time-frame proposed by Management.
1. Management has attempted to protect employment and the viability of the Company by taking measures that under the current circumstances are reasonable.
2. The Construction sector is still very weak after six years of adjustment. Notwithstanding this, the Company is willing to reintroduce the bonus payments albeit on a phased basis.
3. The Unions have failed to adhere to their procedural agreements in commencing strike action before referring the dispute to the Labour Court.
Having considered the submissions of both parties the Court recommends that the current industrial dispute be resolved on the following basis:-
1. The parties agree that all issues in relation to bonus payments made in 2012 and 2013 are resolved and will not be pursued further in any forum by any of the parties encompassed within this Recommendation.
2. The Company and Unions agree that the bonus payments be restored to the Workers concerned in the following manner
2014 – 25%
2015 – 40%
2016 - 55%
2017 - The parties agree that the Company will, subject to the business environment then prevailing, restore the bonus to 100%. The parties will meet to assess the business environment in September 2017 and in the event that they cannot reach agreement on the level of bonus that the Company can pay, they will, no later than 1st October 2017, jointly refer the matter to the Labour Court for a definitive Recommendation.
3. The Court recommends that the Unions suspend their strike and other industrial action while the Recommendation is put to a ballot of the Workers affected.
4. The Court further recommends that both parties agree that they will not engage in any form of victimisation or retaliation against any person whether they supported the dispute or worked for all or any period of the current strike or industrial action.
5. Finally the Court recommends that both sides take steps to re-establish good and effective industrial relations with a view to growing the Company and securing and improving the level and quality of employment of the Workers concerned.
The Court so recommends.
3rd July, 2014