INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
WITH TASTE BANQUETING SERVICES
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Alleged victimisation.
2. The worker was employed as a casual banqueting waiter with the Company since May, 2000. He claims that during his employment he acted as spokesperson for his fellow colleagues, and as a result, he was victimised by the Company.
The Company claims that the worker was selective in the shifts he agreed to do in November/December, 2001, and that he was not available to work for them after 6th December, 2001.
- The worker referred his case to the Labour Court on the 29th May, 2002, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 20th August, 2002. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court’s recommendation. An invitation to attend a Rights Commissioner's hearing was declined by the Company.
3. 1. The worker was denied work with the Company due to the fact that he acted as spokesperson on behalf of staff and as a result of an incident on 27th January, 2002.
2. The worker denies the Company's claim that he was unavailable for work after the 6th December, 2001. He was employed on 8th, 14th and 21st December, 2001 by the Company.
- 3. While on duty on 27th January, 2002 the worker was approached by a Manager regarding assessments. The worker claims that another of the Managers was rude to him when he asked about the assessments.
4. No telephone call or offer of work was received after the 26th January.
4. 1. The Company offers an excellent salary package, particularly during December, it's busiest period.
2. The worker worked for other catering companies and was very selective in the shifts he agreed to do. He was not available to work for the Company after 6th December, 2001.
3. Following on from the foot and mouth outbreak, the downturn in the economy, and September, 11th, levels of business in the first quarter of 2002, traditionally the quietest time, were down on previous years. Permanent and full time staff were on a 3 day week which meant that less work was on offer to regular staff.
4. The Company did not have any problems with the worker speaking on behalf of some members of the banqueting team.
The claimant argued that he was denied work with the Company due to the fact that he acted as spokesperson on behalf of staff and particularly as a result of an incident on the 27th January 2002.
The Company stated it had no difficulty with him acting as spokesperson on behalf of the staff and that he had not been employed due to low levels of business in February and March. During these two months the small amount of work available had been given to those who gave priority to the Company in December.
The claimant accepted that business had been slow in February and March and agreed that those who worked in December should get priority, although he disputed that this had actually been the case.
The Court having considered all of the information before it finds that the employee was not victimised for acting as spokesperson. Indeed the employer spoke highly of him and indicated that he would have been offered employment again when the business improved. It is unfortunate that the employee was not made aware of this position as it might have prevented this current issue becoming a dispute.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th August, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Caroline Hayes, Court Secretary.