INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Non-application of disciplinary procedures.
2. The dispute concerns one worker, a locomotive driver, who referred the following matter to the Labour Court on the 4th October, 2000, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969:-
"That I being an employee of Iarnrod Eireann, cannot have my work withdrawn due to my refusal and/or inability to work rest days without full use of the agreed disciplinary policies and procedures in place within my employment".
The Company's response is that the matter arose in regard to a process put in place by the Company to deal with drivers such as the claimant who are engaged in a concerted action in relation to the operation of a formal agreement entered into by the Company with recognised and licensed trade unions representing locomotive drivers.
The respective positions of the parties to the dispute are as follows:-
The worker claims that, on 22nd September, 2000, he was presented with a letter which threatened his continued employment with the Company and that the Company refused to use the agreed procedures to deal with the matter .The worker has been working Iarnrod Eireann's "New Deal for Locomotive Drivers" under protest and within the jurisdiction of the Labour Court/Labour Relations Commission and has done so since 28th August, over 3 weeks before receiving the letter.
The Company's response to the worker's claim is that he is part of a concerted, orchestrated breach, by a number of drivers who are members of a breakaway group, the Irish Locomotives Drivers Association, of the agreement A New Deal For Locomotive Drivers, which has been entered into by the Company and the licensed trade unions representing locomotive drivers within the Company. Accordingly, the Company maintains that the worker's actions constitute a "sundering of his employment relationship which can only be reconstituted by a clear and unambiguous commitment to work fully in accordance with our agreements", and are not, therefore, appropriate to normal disciplinary procedures.
The worker referred the case in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969.
The Court carried out its investigation into the dispute on the 30th November, 2000. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
It was accepted by both parties that the issues involved in this case are the same as those considered by the Court in LCR16647.
The Court, having considered the submissions in this case, recommends that the Company apply the normal disciplinary procedures in this case.
The Court does not recommend concession of the Company request that this Employee and others in similar cases pending, should have applied to them the outcome of the process that might follow the implementation of LCR16647.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
13th December, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.