INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
I.O. SYSTEMS LTD
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY CWU)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-141451-IR-14/JT.
2. The case before the Court concerns the Worker's appeal ofRights Commissioner's Recommendation R-141451-IR-14/JT. The dispute relates specifically to the Worker's claim that he has been treated in an inequitable manner as a result of his Employer'salleged refusal to allow him access to extra hours of work. The Employer rejects the Worker's claim and agreement could not be reached. The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 1st October, 2014 the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:
"I have considered the submissions of both parties. Clause 4 of the Company/Union Agreement allows the Respondent to determine in what way work is organised. Therefore they are quite entitled to determine what way the new hours are allocated and to whom.
I do not find the claim well founded and it fails".
On the 7th November 2014, the Worker appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relation Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 31st March, 2015.
3. 1. The Worker has suffered a significant financial loss as a result of him not having the ability to access extra hours.
2. The Union contends that the Worker has been treated unfairly by the Employer.
4. 1. The Employer maintains that the Worker has been treated fairly at all times.
2. The Employer asserts that the Company/Union Agreement allows the Employer to determine how work is organised and how available hours are assigned to employees.
The employer took issue with the Union’s right to appeal the Rights Commissioner’s recommendation claiming that it was precluded from doing so by virtue of the terms of the collective agreement in place between the parties. This appeal is before the Court pursuant to section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969. The Court does not accept that the provision of the collective agreement relied upon can be construed as ousting the right of the Union to bring this appeal nor does it offset the jurisdiction of the Court to hear and decide on the appeal. Accordingly the appeal is properly before the Court.
On the merits of the claim, the Court is unable to accept that the manner in which the additional hours in issue were allocated was unfair by normal objective standards. Consequently the Court cannot hold that the Union’s claim should be accepted.
In light of the manner in which this case proceeded, the Court wishes to state that in its opinion the Claimant was perfectly entitled to raise that grievance giving rise to this appeal through the agreed internal procedures and to pursue the matter externally. Moreover, the Union were perfectly entitled to process the claim and to have it adjudicated upon on its merits. The Court is satisfied that at all times both the Claimant and his Union dealt with this matter in good faith and in accordance with agreed and well established procedures.
Any imputation to the contrary which may have arisen from the content or tenor of the Company’s submission to the Court is unhelpful. For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of good industrial relation practice, the Company should acknowledge the bona fides of the Union and its member is processing this matter. It goes without saying that neither the bringing of the claim nor the outcome of this appeal should result in any adverse consequences for the Claimant.
The appeal is disallowed and, with the caveats referred to above, the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner is affirmed
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th April 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.