INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
VANGUARD PLASTICS LIMITED
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation No. 524/97.
2. In February, 1997, the Company advertised both internally and externally for the position of lead hand operator. The job was to be filled by way of an interview and the worker concerned was one of two internal interviewees. In the event, the other internal employee got the job. The worker voiced his grievance through the Union, stating that as he was with the Company for 12 years and the successful interviewee was only employed for 10 weeks he, the worker concerned, was more qualified for the job. He felt that the reason he was not selected was because of a personal matter relating to the managing director who was one of the two people on the interview board (the other being the production manager).
The dispute was referred to the Rights Commissioner and her recommendation is as follows:
"While I do not find that the worker was discriminated against I do recommend that the Company and Union meet as quickly as possible to
(1) Discuss the procedure for lay-offs/short time working
(2) Discuss the procedure for filling future vacancies in accordance with the terms of the procedural/site agreement."
(The worker was named in the above recommendation).
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 5th of December, 1997, in accordance with Section 13(9), of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 10th of February, 1998.
3. 1. Whilst the Union has no grievance with the employee who was successful in acquiring the lead hand position, he had only 10 weeks employment with the Company. The worker concerned has been with the Company for 12 years and had an exemplary work record up to the date of the interview. He had front-line management experience as lead hand and acting supervisor. He fulfilled all the criteria needed to qualify for the job.
2. The worker believes that because of a personal issue involving the managing director (details supplied to the Court) he, the worker, was never seriously considered for the job. The worker's interview was considerably shorter than that of the successful interviewee. He was asked a question regarding his financial position which had no relevance to the job. He had considerably more work experience than the other individual. The worker was not afforded a local meeting to air his grievance after the results of the interview.
4. 1. There was no discrimination against the worker concerned. The Company followed the normal procedures for interviews which are in line with Company/Union agreements. The managing director would not have included himself on the interview board if he felt he could not be objective.
2. The successful applicant came to the Company with exceptional qualities and has proved this since getting the job of lead hand operator. He was clearly the best qualified person for the job. The worker concerned did not have front line experience as the Union has claimed. The worker has a propensity to link events outside of Company matters to his work and, in this instance, to the interview. The worker's interview was fair and was no more than 5 minutes shorter than anyone else. His record has deteriorated since the interview. The Company has offered to send the worker on a formal structured training course.
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties, finds no reason to change the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation.
The Court, therefore, upholds the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation and rejects the appeal.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
13th February, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.