Labour Court restores half of pay cut at cleaners

The Labour Court has recommended that some workers at cleaning firm Noonan Group have half a previous pay cut restored, writes Gordon Deegan.

It said that half of a 5% wage cut on a number of workers in the Noonan Group’s large industrial cleaning division be restored.

In 2013, a number of workers at the Noonan Group sustained a 5% cut in wages and trade union Siptu is seeking its restoration.

In its demand before the court, Siptu also said the restoration should also be significantly backdated.

In its argument, the Noonan Group said to remain competitive the court should take a broader view on pay levels within the industrial cleaning division.

In its recommendation, the Labour Court said the range of pay rates for similar work cannot be sustained in the long term.

It said there was some merit in Siptu’s claim that seeks to reverse the 5% reduction in pay that was agreed in 2013.

The court found that full reversal of that pay cut could not at present be sustained by the division of the company if it is to remain profitable and sustain employment levels.

The Labour Court also found that the company “is not pleading inability to pay”.

It said: “However it is alerting both the union and the court to the fact that margins in the division are tight and that unbalanced wage adjustments will undermine its capacity to sustain employment levels.”

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