Labour Court recommends pay increase for Cork Apple production workers

business
Labour Court Recommends Pay Increase For Cork Apple Production Workers Labour Court Recommends Pay Increase For Cork Apple Production Workers
Siptu claim US production workers have received 45% pay increase compared to 9% in Cork
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Gordon Deegan

The Labour Court has recommended that production workers at Apple’s Cork operation receive a higher pay increase than what has been on offer by the iPhone maker.

In a recommendation concerning a pay row between Apple and trade union Siptu, Labour Court Deputy Chairman, Alan Haugh has recommended that 408 Apple production operators at the tech giant’s Holyhill manufacturing facility in Cork receive an additional 1.25 per cent increase in pay.

The court’s recommended 1.25 per cent pay increase is in addition to a 3 per cent pay increase backdated to October 1st last that has been paid by Apple without prejudice to the outcome of the Labour Court recommendation.

Mr Haugh stated that the Court was making its recommendation having considered the parties’ submissions in relation to pay settlements within appropriate comparator companies in the region and sector.

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As part of its argument, Siptu claimed that Apple has offered pay increases of 45 per cent from 2018 to non-union retail workers in the US but only 9.05 per cent to the Cork production operators in an equivalent 39-month timeframe.

Pay increases

The union also submitted that Apple unilaterally applied a 3 per cent pay increase without agreement in Cork despite WRC proposals of 3 per cent increase per year for three years being rejected at a union ballot.

Siptu stated that its members “view this as disrespectful to the process of collective bargaining”. The union was seeking the court to recommend a pay increase of 5.5 per cent over a 12-month timeframe to be backdated to October 1st, 2021 due to the prevailing high rate of inflation and the general increase in the cost of living since early 2022.

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In response, Apple contended that the 3 per cent pay offer for one year and a commitment to further engagement on follow-on pay phases is more than reasonable and already takes account of market conditions in October 2021.

Apple - which employs around 6,000 people in Cork - further stated that employees are already in receipt of various benefits given by Apple including a one-once off payment of €900 to support home workspaces to all staff during the pandemic.

Apple stated that this was also paid to Cork based employees despite this being an on-site production environment where there was no home office requirement.

Apple stated that it believes the Union's claim for a 5.5 per cent pay increase from October 1st last based on inflation is not sustainable and that the rate of inflation for the first half of the period covered by the proposed one-year agreement was significantly lower than 5.5 per cent.

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