INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
HEINEKEN IRELAND LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation No CW406/95.
2. The appeal concerns a dispute relating to whether or not a named temporary worker should be considered to be a permanent employee of the Company. The Union claims that he should be considered a permanent worker, entitled to sick-pay and pension benefits on a pro-rata basis. (In a previous dispute, a Rights Commissioner had referred to the worker as a "permanent employee"). The Company denied that the worker had any entitlements to the benefits sought. The dispute was the subject of investigation by a Rights Commissioner who found that he did not believe that the claimant could pursue the claim in isolation from his other similar colleagues in the Company. He also found that any reference by himself in passing to "temporary" or "permanent" does not confer any special rights on an employer or employees. He recommended that the Union and the worker accept the present conditions and that the worker was not entitled to the pro-rata benefits sought.
The Union appealed the Recommendation to the Labour Court on the 11th of April, 1996. The Court heard the appeal on the 15th of August, 1996.
3. 1. The Rights Commissioner stated that the issue cannot be pursued in isolation from other similar colleagues. However, any decision on this specific case would not automatically confer rights/benefits on the other temporary employees.
2. The worker occupies his position on the basis of Company need. This position should be made permanent and the claimant should be appointed.
3. The Rights Commissioner, in a previous Recommendation, defined the worker's status as "permanent employee". The subsequent statement by the Rights Commissioner that his own definition of the worker's status was merely a "reference in passing" is rejected.
1. The issue first arose when the Company advertised for a permanent position. Those who applied were interviewed and a decision was made to appoint an employee, the Claimant in this case being unsuccessful. The Company's decision was challenged and following an investigation, a Rights Commissioner recommended that the Union and the worker accept that the Company had the right to make the selection as it did.
2. Given the Company's decision to reduce its direct distribution fleet in Dublin, from 5 trucks to 3 trucks, the possibility of any future permanent positions arising in this area is unlikely.
3. Should a permanent vacancy arise, it would be advertised internally and all existing temporary employees would be eligible to apply for it.
Having considered the submissions from the parties and having examined the two Rights Commissioner's Recommendations, the Court has concluded the Union appeal is not well-founded and, accordingly, the Court does not uphold the appeal.
The Court would draw attention to the Rights Commissioner's findings in CW406/95 as to how the appellant should pursue his claim for permanency.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th August, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.