INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
IRISH CEMENT LIMITED TRADING AS
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
UNITE THE UNION
TECHNICAL ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. 11% Pay Claim
2. This dispute relates to a claim for an 11% pay increase.
- The Unions argued pay rates were frozen at the Company between 2010 and 2012. In 2012 and 2013 there was a 6% reduction in pay and in 2014 a further 6% reduction in pay. The claim has two elements comprising; the restoration of the 6% pay reduction and a claim for 5% pay round increase going forward.
The Employer said that there is an Agreement in place with the group of Unions relating to pay that was agreed on the 19thof November 2013. This Agreement covers pay from January 2014 to January 2019 allowing for the restoration of pay rates over its period.
- This dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 27th January 2016 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 26th February 2016.
3. 1. The joint Agreement provides for pay restitution in phases between 2014 - 2019. Ordinarily the Union side would and should be bound by agreements made, however, the manner in which this arrangement was entered into, in conjunction with the substantial production increases recorded by the Company, allows the Unions to seek better terms at this stage.
2. Production of cement at the Company has entered a new phase with increased volumes and positive growth in the domestic market.
3. The Company is a business unit of CRH which has recorded significant profits in 2014 and 2015.
4. 1. The recovery in the domestic market has been extremely slow. Domestic demand is still only at 30% of the 2007 production rates.
2. The export market accounts for over 45% of current production. This is an extremely competitive market with low margins.
3. The joint Agreement to 2019 is essential to the Company’s competitiveness.
There are two issues before the Court. The first relates to the Unions’ claim for an acceleration in the agreed rate at which pay reductions agreed in 2014 are reversed. The second relates to a claim for a pay round increase submitted by the Unions.
The Court finds that trading position of the Company does not justify an acceleration of the agreed rate at which the pay cuts agreed in 2014 should be reversed. Accordingly, the Court recommends that the current agreement should be observed by both sides.
However, noting that recovery in the domestic construction sector is expected to pick up pace over the next 12 months, the Court recommends that the parties reassess the matter in 2017 in the context of the circumstances then prevailing.
The Court finds some merit in the Unions’ claim for an increase in pay.
Noting that the claim was presented by the Unions in 2015, the Court recommends that the Company increase the pay of the workers concerned by 2% for 12 months commencing in January 2016.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th March, 2016.Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran Roche, Court Secretary.