If state institutions like the National Museum of Ireland ignore LRC recommendations why would private sector employers bother paying any heed to them?
Responding to a situation at the National Museum brought to her attention by constituents Clare Daly TD said:
“On three separate occasions in recent years the Labour Court has made recommendations over disputed measures in favour of staff in the National Museum of Ireland, a state agency. These concerned matters around incremental credit, senior claims and rostering. On each occasion the employer has ignored the recommendations.
“Labour Court recommendations are not binding on employers and oftentimes are disregarded by bosses in the private sector. Nevertheless successive governments to this day always recommend to workers that they use the states industrial relations institutions to resolve disputes as an alternative to industrial action.
“Would it not therefore be reasonable to assume that the state as an employer would respect its own institutions? Not in the case of the National Museum of Ireland! Furthermore it seems that this poor attitude on the part of the state as an employer towards recommendations of the Labour Court is shared in other departments.
“For example the Labour Court made a recommendation for an enhanced redundancy for a former employee of the Irish Refugee Council it was likewise ignored. Now the Irish Refugee Council is not a state agency but does receive state funding and rightly so because it does admirable work. However I don’t think its treatment of the former employee in question was admirable. I raised this matter with the Minister of Justice his short response included the following idiotic passage:
However, it should be noted that were a Department to place more onerous obligations regarding Labour Court recommendations on a certain class of employer, i.e. non governmental organisations (NGOs), who are in receipt of Departmental grants, such grants given to help these NGOs in the provision of services could instead end up financing, for example, redundancy payments on foot of Labour Court recommendations.
“The position of the Socialist Party and many others active in the trade union movement that justice is more often than not unobtainable for workers in the Labour Court is being borne out. In the final analysis the traditions methods of struggle including strike action is all we are left with.”