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Written Answers - Industrial Disputes

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 260.  Deputy Ciara Conway Information on Ciara Conway Zoom on Ciara Conway  asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton  the measures that will be taken to ensure that a company complies with a recommendation of the Labour Court; the recourse a person might have in cases where a company is unwilling to act on a recommendation of the Labour Court, yet continues to benefit from Government funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24308/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The system of industrial relations in Ireland is essentially voluntarist in nature with the terms and conditions of employment of workers being determined in the main by a process of voluntary negotiation and agreement without the direct intervention of the State.

In general, Irish law does not try to impose a solution on parties to an industrial relations dispute, but rather is designed to help support the parties in resolving their differences. The State takes a supportive role, by providing a framework and institutions through which good industrial relations can prosper, rather than an interventionist one. Institutions such as the [395]Labour Court and the Labour Relations Commission were established to assist in the resolution of disputes between employers and workers.

The experience and expertise of the State’s industrial relations machinery offers the best avenue for resolving issues in dispute. It is expected that the parties to a dispute come to the process in good faith and consequently are prepared to give serious consideration to the decisions or recommendations made.

Even what often appears to be the most intractable of disputes is capable of resolution where both sides engage constructively and in good faith in this voluntary process. The principle of good faith implies that both sides in a dispute make every effort to reach an agreement and endeavour, through genuine and constructive negotiations, to resolve their differences.

However, responsibility for the resolution of disputes remains a matter for the parties involved.

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