INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
ALAN COSTELLO CARS
- AND -
Chairman: Mr McGrath
Employer Member: Mr Brennan
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company on the 22nd of May, 1996 as a storesperson in the Parts department, having previously done mechanical work for the same employer, on a part-time basis. In early August, 1996, he was given a position in the workshop, as a mechanic, where he worked until his dismissal on the 23rd of August, 1996. The worker claims that his dismissal was both unfair and without notice. The Company's position is that the worker's performance was generally unsatisfactory and there was no alternative but to let him go.
The worker referred the matter to the Labour Court on the 13th of January, 1997, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court investigated the dispute, on the 17th of February, 1997.
3. 1. He was employed as a storesperson and performed his duties as required. He often worked additional hours for which he was not paid. The Company statement that he was moved from the stores area to the workshop "because it was not working out" is rejected.
2. The Company's claims that he was slow in servicing cars is unreasonable. The delays in those services were justified on the grounds of particular problems that arose. Such problems would have been recorded on the job-cards.
3. The Company's contention that there were ongoing difficulties between the worker and colleagues are greatly exaggerated and allegations in relation to cursing by him are untrue.
4. The Company's claim that a particular car had not been fully serviced is rejected. When the car was returned and the oil filter was found to be dirty, it had actually been driven for 300 - 400 miles after it was serviced.
5. The worker's refusal to fit number plates on one occasion was due to the fact that he was completely overworked at the time. Tappets, which he had not seen to correctly, were not re-set as his tools had been stolen. Tyres that he had sought to have replaced did not satisfy legal requirements and their replacement was justified.
6. The worker was informed, without notice, as he left on holidays, that there would be no job for him when he returned. Accordingly, he did not have an opportunity to claim social welfare payments and, as a result, he lost 3 weeks' money.
4. 1. The worker failed to explain why a car he had serviced had not had a new oil filter fitted, despite the fact that he had ordered one from the suppliers and had collected it. This matter caused considerable embarrassment to the employer, whose friend was the owner of the car.
2. The worker refused to perform a number of tasks when requested and he also refused to have any dealings with the head mechanic for 2-3 months.
3. Other incidents occurred, including the worker's failure to replace tappets and his insistence on changing the 4 tyres on a car before its sale. The tyres did not require to be replaced as they complied with legal requirements.
4. The workers use of foul language was unacceptable, especially in the presence of customers.
5. The worker was not suitable for the position for which he was engaged on a trial basis. When he was transferred to the workshop other major difficulties arose which made it impossible to retain him. He had been warned that if he did not "cop on" he could not be kept on in the place. Due to the imminent holidays the worker was taking, it was impossible to give him notice.
The Court has considered all of the views of the parties as expressed in their oral and written submissions.
The Court finds that, given all of the circumstances, the manner in which the claimant was dismissed was unreasonable.
The Court recommends that he be paid compensation in the amount of £500 in full and final settlement of this dispute.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th of February, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.