INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
GARRETT ENGINE BOOSTING SYSTEMS
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR2458/00/GF.
2. The worker concerned received a final written warning and was suspended for one day for alleged bullying and harassment of canteen staff. The issue was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. In his recommendation, which issued on the 15th of February, 2001, the Rights Commissioner recommended that the disciplinary action be withdrawn.
The Company appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 14th of March, 2001, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court heard the appeal on the 3rd of October, 2001, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. Management fully investigated the complaint of alleged bullying and harassment. All staff, including the worker concerned, were interviewed in the presence of the Shop Steward.
2. At all times it was made clear to the workforce by management that such behaviour was unacceptable and would not be tolerated.
3. The disciplinary action taken by management was the appropriate action.
4. 1. The Union contends that this dispute arises from the Company's unilateral decision to take disciplinary action against the worker concerned without consultation.
2. No substantial evidence against the worker concerned was presented to the Union.
3. The Company chose to make an example of certain workers without due regard to their right to defend themselves against the allegations.
In relation to the specific case before it, the Court upholds the Company's appeal i.e. that the named individual be suspended as proposed and given a final written warning.
The Court so decides.
The Court has given careful consideration to this difficult and disturbing case. It is clear from the parties submissions to the Labour Court that there is a very serious problem within the Company of harassment and abusive behaviour.
It is imperative that all the parties concerned implement a code of practice to include a grievance and disciplinary procedure to eliminate these destructive practices. This code of practice should also include a Complaints and Investigation procedure, which is fair and equitable.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th October, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.