26/06/2002

Employment Minister praises work of Industrial Court

The Industrial Court, and in particular its new adjudication remit in recognition rights for trade unions, has been hailed by Employment Minister Carmel Hanna as providing a "sound foundation for the future of industrial relations" in Northern Ireland.

The Industrial Court is a tribunal public body with statutory powers, with the remit to adjudicate on statutory trade union recognition issues, in which unions can be recognised (or derecognised) for collective bargaining purposes where it is the clear wish of the workers comprising the relevant bargaining unit.

Presenting the inaugural annual report of the Industrial Court, Chairman Richard Steele, said: "The Report reflects the work of the Industrial Court during its first year of operation working in a new and complex area of law. During the period since re-constitution in March last year, the court has dealt with 10 applications in its new responsibility to adjudicate on trade union recognition issues. The experience gained during the year has contributed to a substantial body of organisational knowledge and I look forward to the challenges ahead."

Paying tribute to the contribution made by the Industrial Court to industrial relations in Northern Ireland, Mrs Hanna said: "The Industrial Court and its panel members have approached this challenging new jurisdiction with a high degree of commitment and professionalism. The exemplary work of the Industrial Court in its first year has provided a sound foundation upon which to build." (CL)


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