asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that as a result of the closing down of the Electricity Station at Pigeon House Fort the staff employed there have been discharged; and if so, if he is in a position to state on what conditions, either of re-employment by the Electricity Supply Board or compensation, have these discharges been effected.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Pigeon House Electricity Staff.
I am informed that the Electricity Supply Board has been unable to provide alternative employment for the staff formerly employed at the Pigeon House but that it has the question of compensation under consideration this week.
Might I ask the Minister if it was not understood when the Electricity Bill was passing through the Dáil that if cases such as these occurred, where alternative employment could not be given, that compensation would be paid under Section 1 of the Act.
It is difficult to answer precisely. I do not know what the Deputy means by "cases such as these" but I think it was pretty clear, when the Electricity Supply legislation was passing through this House, that where employees in generating stations had suffered loss of employment, and where no alternative employment could be found that Schedule 1 dealt with the terms and conditions of employment. Whether any or all of these men come within that I do not know. How far the legislation has carried out the wish of the Oireachtas is a point on which there is doubt. If it is really found wanting steps will be taken then.
Is the Minister aware that these men have suffered a very great hardship, and in view of the contention of the Electricity Supply Board, that they are not entitled to compensation, does the Minister intend to introduce amending legislation?
I have already answered all these questions.
Does the Minister consider that these men have not suffered a hardship owing to being discharged, seeing that they are neither in receipt of wages nor compensation?
My first answer answers that.