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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 14 Dec 1955

Vol. 153 No. 10

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Labour Court and Trade Disputes.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that trade unions are experiencing considerable difficulties and delays in having trade disputes investigated by the Labour Court, and, if so, what steps have been taken to ease the situation.

I am informed by the Labour Court that the number of disputes coming before the court for investigation at present is considerably greater than usual and that it is therefore not possible for the court to deal with all of them as rapidly as it would like. It is not anticipated, however, that this position will be prolonged.

Would the Minister not agree that if a dispute which is submitted to the Labour Court for investigation is delayed for a month, or—as happened in one case —for two months, it will defeat the end for which the court was set up?

That is not the normal experience of the court. Throughout the present year and more particularly in recent months the volume of work has been unusually heavy, heavier even than during the previous rounds of wage increases. The volume has been further increased by the addition of certain local authority and other workers to the classes of workers whose cases may now be dealt with by the court. The court is aware of these difficulties which have descended upon it in consequence of the abnormal conditions operating during the year in respect of wage increases and it is doing its best to deal with these cases with the utmost expedition. I am assured that the problem will clear itself substantially within the next couple of weeks.