I understand that the issues in dispute are currently before the industrial relations machinery of the State. The system of industrial relations in Ireland is designed to help and support parties in their efforts to resolve their differences, rather than imposing a solution on the parties to an industrial dispute.
The Labour Relations Commission provides a free conciliation service, in which a trained facilitator assists employers and workers to resolve disputes when their own unassisted efforts have not succeeded. The Labour Court acts as an industrial relations tribunal to provide a free, comprehensive service for the resolution of industrial relations disputes, where the parties to a dispute have been unable to reach agreement. Since the Labour Court is a court of last resort in the industrial relations process, it is expected that the parties come to the process in good faith and, consequently, are prepared to accept the outcome of the process, namely, the Labour Court recommendation.
Responsibility for the settlement of this dispute rests, ultimately, with the parties themselves. The obligation lies with the parties to seek to resolve their differences and to carry their efforts through to completion. Continued engagement with the State's industrial relations machinery offers, in my view, the best way whereby the parties involved in this dispute can hope to resolve their differences.
In addition to the industrial relations process, there exists a body of legislation to protect workers in redundancy situations such as the Protection of Employment Act, the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, the Payment of Wages Act and the Redundancy Payments Acts. In particular, the Protection of Employment Act 1977 provides for a mandatory consultation process between the employer and the employee representatives and the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973 guarantees minimum notice of redundancy, or compensation in lieu of notice, to employees.
Information on employment rights is available from the National Employment Rights Authority: either from its website www.employmentrights.ie or by contacting an Information Officer directly at 1890 80 80 90.
Policy matters relating to Fáilte Ireland are a matter for my colleague Mr Leo Varadakar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, while issues regarding the day-to-day operations of a public body should be directed to the Chief Executive of the relevant body.