The day-to-day resolution of industrial disputes is primarily a matter for the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court. I am concerned at the level of industrial action taking place or threatened. We have in place procedures and institutions to support dispute resolution and it is incumbent on employers and employees to work within those procedures and institutions.
The policy of my Department has been to promote the voluntarist approach whereby parties made the maximum effort to resolve disputes in direct talks. Where these talks fail there are, in the vast majority of employment, agreed disputes procedures normally involving the LRC and the Labour Court.
More than four fifths of cases dealt with by the LRC are settled at conciliation. Issues which are not resolved through the use of the LRC's Conciliation Service are normally referred to the Labour Court for investigation. The Labour Court is held in high regard by both workers and employees and the great majority of its recommendations are accepted by the parties.