In parliamentary questions on Employment Rights, Willie O’Dea TD outlined the plight of the workers of the former St. Enda’s Sports Complex, Limerick and asked the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton, to investigate why the State will not honour a Labour Court recommendation to pay redundancy to the 28 workers involved.
In reply, Minister Bruton promised to seek further information on the case and Deputy O’Dea has since furnished him with a copy of the Labour Court judgement.
Extract from Parliamentary Questions, January 25th 2012:
Deputy Willie O’Dea: I know the Minister … mentioned the responsibility of employers and the usefulness of the labour relations machinery. In my constituency, there was an employer that was, effectively, the State. This relates to St. Enda’s Sports Complex in Limerick, which went out of business. The employees had not been paid redundancy and took the employer to the Labour Court last May, and the court’s recommendation was that the employees be paid because the redundancy happened because of the withdrawal of funding by a Department. The Department of Education and Skills informed me the money had been put aside to pay the business but the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has refused to allow the money to be paid. We are talking about 28 workers and a grand total of €80,000, which is an infinitesimal amount of money when we consider what bondholders are being paid. A Department is liable for this €80,000 but the State is refusing to honour a recommendation of the Labour Court. Will the Minister investigate that and revert to me?
Deputy Richard Bruton: I do not know of the case. From the Deputy’s statement, it sounds like the case has gone through the agencies for which I am responsible. At this point it is an issue in respect of honouring a recommendation. I will seek information on behalf of the Deputy but it is not available to me at the moment.