IRELAND: The Minister for Energy has asked the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) to intervene in the dispute between the ESB and their unions.
Minister Pat Rabbitte has called for intervention to prevent planned industrial action taking place next week.
“After several days of discussions between ESB unions and management, no resolution of the dispute has yet emerged," Minister Rabbitte said.
The minister said that It was unthinkable that Ireland's economic recovery was being jeopardised, consumers were being inconvenienced and our country’s reputation undermined by the dispute.
"I have therefore this evening requested the Labour Relations Commission to convene the parties at the earliest possible time. I am now asking the parties to use the industrial relations machinery of the state to resolve the dispute and clear up any uncertainty as early as possible”.
Senator Fergal Quinn
However, Minister Rabbitte's strong words on intervention follow his comment yesterday, that the Irish Government would not be supporting Senator Feargal Quinn’s proposed bill to penalise industrial action by Irish utility companies.
Senator Quinn is hoping to have the yet unpublished - Proposed Critical Utilities (Security of Supply) Bill debated in the Seanad next week.
The published bill would create new criminal offences, with provision for up to 5 years imprisonment.
“Of course the Government believes there should not be industrial disruption in our utilities but using criminal law to try to achieve this would be counterproductive".
“The success of our industry relations machinery is due in no small way to the fact that it is voluntarist in character. Almost invariably both sides of industry have given their voluntary allegiance to making our industrial relations institutions work," Minister Rabbitte added.
He said he thought that the industrial relations machinery of the State worked exceptionally effectively and mandatory provisions to punish the withdrawal of labour would risk undermining its effectiveness.
My Purple Chair
The My Purple Chair title was born from my favourite place to sit and think about what's happening in the world. It's old but comfortable. So i suppose it's a bit like myself!