INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The worker concerned commenced employment with the Company as a driver in October, 1998. He was dismissed in August, 1999. The worker claimed that the dismissal was unfair and on the 24th of September, 1999 referred a complaint to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Court hearing was held on the 4th of November, 1999.The Company declined an invitation to attend the hearing.
3. 1. When the worker, who is a very experienced driver, reported for duty on the 16th of August, 1999 at 4.45 a.m. for his driving duties the truck which was allocated to him was, in his opinion, unsafe. On previous occasions he had experienced various problems with this particularly vehicle (details supplied to the Court) and had reported these to Management Other drivers also experienced problems with the vehicle. They were not addressed, and despite his protestations and reservations regarding the truck it was again allocated to him on the 16th of August, 1999.
2. The worker refused to drive the truck because of its condition and informed the employer. He was immediately, arbitrarily and unfairly dismissed. The worker seeks appropriate redress.
The Company declined to attend the Court hearing and, therefore, the information put before the Court was that supplied by the claimant.
The Court is satisfied from documents supplied to the Court, including documents signed by Ms. Sally McGann, Personnel Manager, McGann PLM, that McGann PLM is the employing company.
The claimant argued that he had complained on several occasions that a particular lorry was unsuitable for the work and was unsafe. Included in his claims about the lorry was that it had twice rolled backwards in traffic. Having refused to take out this particular lorry, that he felt was unsafe, he was summarily dismissed a few hours later.
Having considered the submission made by the claimant the Court is satisfied that he was denied natural justice and given no opportunity to present his case. No specific charges were made against him, he was merely told that Kerry Foods, the client company, did not want him, that his employer agreed, and on that basis he would have to be dismissed.
The Court finds that the claimant was unfairly dismissed and recommends compensation be paid to him of a lump sum the equivalent of four months salary. The Court further recommends that he be supplied with a suitable reference by the Company.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th November, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.