21 August 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Big increase in racial inequality claims

STATISTICS released by the 26 County Equality Tribunal in its Annual Report show a 106% increase in complaints of racial discrimination in the workplace. Three hundred and seven cases in complaints this year were based on racial discrimination.
Equality Tribunal Director Melanie Pine said that the sharp increase was unusual and believed it was caused by increased diversity in the workplace and an increasing awareness of workers’ rights. A South African rheumatology nurse was awarded €25,000 by the Tribunal after St. James’s Hospital did not promote her to a managerial position for which she was the most qualified, the report stated.
The report from the Tribunal also showed a 65% increase in the number of cases of discrimination against people with disabilities, 89 of which were in the workplace.


Manager awarded €25,000 after unfair dismissal

THE Employment Appeals Tribunal this week awarded a former manager with an airport food company in an unfair dismissal case. Kieran McCann from Beaumont, Dublin had been employed by Gate Gourmet Ireland who supply food to Dublin Airport. McCann had been asked to sign a form for Air Canada which provided details of food being loaded onto their flights. The form had a section to sign which stated who the food was “prepared by” and McCann felt that he could not sign the form as he was not responsible for food preparation, only its dispatch, and said that he would discuss it with his trade union. He was immediately dismissed by his employers.
The Employment Appeals Tribunal agreed with McCann that signing the form would have been fraudulent, said an employer could not expect an employee to obey unlawful instructions and awarded him €25,000.


Women lodge unfair dismissal claims in social welfare department

THE 26 County Department of Social and Family Affairs has had three unfair dismissals claims lodged against it by women who were recently replaced by temporary workers. The workers based in Killarney were reported to have been laid off in July when the Department took over administration of their office. The union SIPTU says the Department is in breach of laws on the Transfer of Undertakings which serves to protect workers when a business changes hands. The social welfare office had previously been run by a private contractor on behalf of the Department and the workers had over 60 years of experience between them. The unfair dismissal claims have been lodged with the Employment Appeals Tribunal and are awaiting hearing.


Limerick manager denies driving at picketing workers

A managing director from Limerick has denied allegations from workers this week that she attempted to drive her BMW at Polish workers who were picketing her company. About 20 former and current employees are picketing Curran Aluminium in Roxboro, County Limerick in official industrial action. 

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