INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
BOXMORE PLASTICS LTD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Mr Marie
Worker Member: Mr McCarthy
1. Pay Increase
2. Boxmore Plastics Limited are a manufacturing company dealing with moulded plastic containers and bottles for the pharmaceutical, healthcare, food and drink industries since the early 1960’s. In September 2014 SIPTU members employed by Boxmore Plastics made a decision to seek a pay increase of 6% over 2 years. In the subsequent months that followed negotiations failed to take place between the two parties.
On the 10th of November 2015 SIPTU 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 6thof January 2016.
The company have been making a continuous profit since 2011, yet the employees have not received a pay increase since 2007.
- SIPTU have sought three times for negotiations with Boxmore Plastics. They received no response on the first occasion, and were informed that the company wouldn’t negotiate on the second and third occasion. SIPTU also sought the assistance of the Labour Relations Commission, but the company again refused to engage. SIPTU believe that the company are trying to frustrate proceedings.
Other companies within the same locality and industry have been rewarding their employees over the same period.
In accordance with the Works Agreement, SIPTU are required to follow a formal process for submitting claims. This involves completing a form and securing signatures from relevant parties. This was not done by the union.
The company would be willing to meet with the union, once agreed procedures are followed, to discuss a pay increase. However they are not in a position to meet a 6% pay claim over two years.
The Court identifies two issues in dispute between the parties. They are the dispute regarding the procedural arrangements in place in the Company to progress collective pay claims and the dispute regarding the substantive pay claim submitted by the Union. Both claims were considered by the Court and come within the scope of this recommendation.
Having considered the written and verbal submissions of both sides the Court recommends that the parties engage on the two issues in dispute with a view to reaching agreement locally in the first instance. Accordingly, the Court recommends that the Union, within seven days of the date of this Recommendation, set out the basis of its claim. Within seven days of receiving those details from the Union, the Company should formally respond in writing to the Union setting out a detailed response. Those respective documents should then form the context in which the discussions between the parties are progressed through procedures.
- If the parties fail to reach agreement locally they should, without delay, seek the assistance of the WRC in an effort to find a speedy and effective resolution of the issues that remain in dispute. Should the parties fail to find a resolution at the WRC they should, in accordance with the terms of the Collective Agreement, refer the matter back to the Labour Court for a definitive recommendation. The Court recommends that the procedure outlined above should be completed within 10 weeks from the date of this recommendation.
In order to increase the prospects of bringing the disputed issues to a successful conclusion, the Court further recommends that the Company and Union, within seven days of the date of this Recommendation, make arrangements to jointly review the ‘Procedure for Resolving Disputes’ set out at Clause 28 of the collective agreement to ensure, with revised text if necessary, that there is clarity between the parties as to the procedures applicable (including required documentation/correspondence) with respect to the processing of (1) ‘shop floor grievances’ and; (2) ‘Collective claims by the Union’. The parties should also reach a clear understanding as to what kinds of claims or issues are to be channelled through each of the two processes in the future.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
____12th January 2016______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jason Kennedy, Court Secretary.