SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BANAGHER PRECAST CONCRETE
- AND -
120 GENERAL OPERATIVES
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
1.This dispute concerns a pay claim.
The Employer has proposed pay levels at current rates for year 1 followed by 2% increase in year 2 and a further pay increase of 2% in year 3 and overtime would be paid to all employees when their length of service exceeds 24 months after 43.00 hours at a premium of 1.33 effective from the 1 July 2020.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17 September 2020.
3. 1. The union contends that the current pay system is poorly structured as there are eight different general operative rates covering Craft and Supervisors all with no movement through the rates.
2. The Union is seeking application of the standard overtime premium payments of time + half which will apply after 39 hours; on Saturday the first 4 hours to be time +half and double-time thereafter and double-time on all hours on Sunday.
3. Talks on a follow-on agreement to commence in September 2022 with an application date of the first weeks pay-roll in January 2023.
4. 1. Brexit is a very serious concern for the Company and is likely to have a significant impact on the business in particular their ability to compete in the UK marketplace.
2. The impact on the business of Covid?19 to date has been very negative. Most of the industry was shut down for a period of 7 weeks and the start?up has been very gradual.
3. Given that the Company’s pay rates are similar to others within the industry and generally higher than those of our UK counterparts, any significant additional cost to the business, which is highly labour intensive, having 30% of its costs associated accordingly, would have a devastating impact on competitiveness.
Background to the Dispute
The Court received very comprehensive submissions from both Parties in which they each set out in some detail the course of their engagement regarding the within pay claim initiated by the Union in mid-2019.
There are several strands to the claim as presented by the Union to the Court. In summary, the Union is seeking the following:
(a) The introduction of a banded pay structure comprising four bands with defined criteria for progression through the bands;
(e) Improvements to and a broadening out of the current Defined Contribution Pension Scheme.
The Company’s position as outlined to the Court is as follows:
Overtime to paid to employees with 24 months’ service at a rate to Tx1.3;
The Company proposes the following pathway in which a 39-hour week can be achieved:
The Court notes the very considerable differences in the Parties’ respective positions. The Court is in no doubt, having reflected carefully on the Parties’ written and verbal submissions, that the Company’s failure to share relevant financial information with the Union has contributed in no small part to the lack of progress to date in resolving this dispute.
In light of the foregoing, the Court recommends that the Parties engage in intense negotiations locally with a view to developing a shared and informed understanding of the Respondent’s financial and commercial situation. If necessary, the Parties may then avail themselves of the assistance of the Conciliation Service of the Workplace Relations Commission. The Court remains available to assist the Parties thereafter if agreement has not been reached at that point.
The Court so recommends.
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran Roche, Court Secretary.