INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
ICTS (UK) LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY DENIS MCSWEENEY SOLICITORS)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Alleged unfair dismissal - lack of training.
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company on the 21st of March, 2005, and was employed as a security agent up to the date of her dismissal on the 27th of June, 2005. The Company provides security services at Dublin Airport mainly for US registered airlines. Employees are required to undergo health and safety training prior to commencing operational duties and were given a handout.
The dispute concerns an incident on the 23rd of June, 2005. The worker's case is as follows:- she was on duty during a cabin inspection of an American Airlines flight. She heard a knocking at the back door which became very intense. There was no one else nearby and she opened the back door where she found a number of cleaners. An engineer asked her if she had opened the door. She replied that she had and in time told the lead agent what had happened. She asked the lead agent to tell the station manager about the incident. The worker was on leave for a couple of days and returned on the 26th of June. She was asked to attend a meeting. At the meeting she was asked about the incident, the handout was produced in relation to health and safety, and her employment was then terminated.
The Company's case is that under no circumstances were employees to touch the aircraft doors or controls at any time. Doing so could render an employee liable to disciplinary action up to and including summary dismissal.
The worker referred her case to the Labour Court on the 9th of August, 2005, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 19th of October, 2005.
3. 1. The worker opened the door without realising the danger involved. It was not a deliberate act. She had forgotten about the handout she received at her initial training. She does not believe that the dangers were sufficiently explained at her training.
2. The worker was dismissed without the Company following any proper disciplinary procedures. She was not told that she could have representation at the meeting on the 26th of June.
4. 1.The worker received full training, including a handout on health and safety, and at no time said that she did not understand what was involved or seek clarification. All employees are warned of the hazards of opening doors on an aircraft. They are told that it could have fatal consequences where a non-qualified person opens a door.
2. The worker was afforded an opportunity to appeal the decision to dismiss her but she chose not to do so. The worker was fairly dismissed in accordance with the Company's disciplinary procedures.
The Court has considered the oral and written submissions of the parties.
It is clear that the misdemeanour committed by the claimant was a serious one which she had been made aware of during her training/induction programme of the serious safety violations pertaining to the issue in dispute. The Court does not recommend her reinstatement.
The Court is, however, dissatisfied with the Company's use of its own procedures which, it feels, dealt somewhat summarily with the claimant in a situation where there was no deliberate wrongdoing. The Court is also dissatisfied with the way the claimant's right to accompaniment/representation was dealt with.
In the above circumstances, the Court awards the claimant the sum of €2,000 in compensation for the manner of her dismissal and advises the Company to tighten up the implementation of its disciplinary procedures.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th November, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.