Written Answers. - Worker Directors.

Ivan Yates

Question:

125 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if the issue of worker directors, as discussed at the time of the Dáil debates on the initial public offering for Telecom Éireann, was satisfactorily resolved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19346/99]

Under Statutory Instrument No. 87 of 1999 made pursuant to the Postal and Telecommunications Services (Amendment) Act, 1999, Telecom Eireann was removed from the scope of the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Acts as the obligations imposed by those Acts would not be appropriate to the company's status as a publicly quoted company following the initial public offering. At a board meeting of the company on 19 May 1999 the two worker directors, and their alternates voluntarily relinquished their positions on the board. At the same meeting Mr. Bill Attley, on my nomination, was appointed to the board to fill one of the vacancies.

Under the employee share ownership plan ESOP for Telecom Eireann, the employee trust is entitled to nominate a director for appointment to the board of the company, and that this nomination would be facilitated by the replacement of one of the worker director positions. Deputy Dick Spring was nominated by the employee share ownership trust for appointment to the board and was duly appointed at the board meeting referred to above.

It was agreed that the general issue of employee representation on the boards of State companies will be the subject of discussion in the context of the post-Partnership 2000 scenario. Any suggestions put forward by the trade unions concerning the role of employee representations in the evolving structure of State companies will be considered in this context.