Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Questions (54)

Mick Barry


54. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the dispute involving vital 999 emergency workers whom BT Ireland has subcontracted to a service centre (details supplied), and if she should recommend to other Departments that they insist on higher standards of workplace relations where private companies are operating State contracts. [15830/16]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I understand this dispute involves several issues, including pay and work practices. I would like to assure the Deputy that the State’s industrial relations machinery remains available and engaged to assist.

Even what often appears to be the most intractable of disputes is capable of resolution where both sides engage constructively and in good faith in this voluntary process. The principle of good faith implies that both sides in a dispute make every effort to reach an agreement and endeavour, through genuine and constructive negotiations, to resolve their differences.

Ireland’s system of industrial relations is, essentially, voluntary in nature and responsibility for the resolution of industrial disputes between employers and workers, whether in redundancy or other collective disputes, rests with the employer, the workers and their representatives. The State provides the industrial relations dispute settlement to support parties in their efforts to resolve their differences.

The obligations that are provided for in Ireland’s robust suite of labour law apply equally to employers engaged in private and public sector work.