INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGrath
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Walsh
1. Status of employment.
2. The Company was established in 1958 and currently employs a workforce of 55. It is engaged in the production of adhesives and sealants. The Union claims that a former temporary employee was unfairly treated by the Company and is seeking re-employment to a permanent position on his behalf. The worker concerned was previously employed as a temporary general operative on four or five occasions between 1994 and 1995. In December, 1995 both the worker concerned and a second temporary employee were let go. The Union claims that the other worker, who was less senior, was then re-engaged and appointed to a permanent position. The Union also states that the Company undertook to consider the worker concerned when further vacancies arose, but he has not been contacted although two recent vacancies have been filled.
The issue was the subject of local discussions and was also the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 9th December, 1996. As agreement was not reached, the issue was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 24th March, 1997.
3. 1. The Company advertised a permanent position on the 25th January, 1996 yet had already informed a junior temporary worker in December, 1995 that he was to be appointed to the position. The Company failed to take seniority into account as had been the custom and practice previously.
2. The Company has never expressed dissatisfaction with the worker's time-keeping or work performance. If there was a problem he would not have been re-employed on a number of occasions.
3. Management promised to consider the worker for future vacancies, yet two vacancies have recently been filled and the worker was not contacted.
4. 1. The worker was employed on a number of occasions in a temporary capacity as production demands necessitated. No undertaking was given to re-employ him at the end of each period of employment.
2. There is no custom and practice of filling permanent positions from a pool of temporary employees as the two temporary employees mentioned are the only two temporaries employed on the production floor.
3. The Company/Union agreement recognises the Company's right to recruit employees at its discretion. Management considered both temporary workers for the permanent position in December, 1995 and appointed the most suitable person. If a future vacancy should arise the worker concerned may apply and will be considered for the position.
The Court has considered the written and oral submissions made by both parties in this case.
The Court notes that the Company has expressed no dissatisfaction with the claimant's work, and has hired him for a total of 5 periods of temporary employment totalling approximately 12 months over a two year period. While the Company had stated that it would consider the claimant for suitable vacancies, he has not been called for interview for either of the last two permanent positions that arose.
In the circumstances of this case the Court recommends that the claimant should be considered favourably for the next suitable vacancy, and if not appointed then the Company should pay to the claimant the sum of £1200 compensation in final settlement of his claim for employment.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th April, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.