Following the recent High Court Case new proposals in relation to JLC/REA's have been made by the government:
24-Nov-10 at 18.17 | Resolve HR Admin
Following today's decision to reduce the Minimum Wage rate to €7.65. The Government has signalled that the ERO and REA rates should be reviewed. In particular the Catering,...

Industrial Action

The Industrial Relations Act 1990, IR Amendment Act 2001 and the IR (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004 sets out basic provisions regarding trade disputes and confers certain protections to unions and their members from prosecution as a result of peaceful industrial action i.e. Picketing, Work to Rule. Prior to the introduction of the 1990 IR Act it was relatively easy for a business threatened with industrial action to get a court injunction restraining industrial action. (An injunction is basically a court order compelling a person to take, or restricting a person from taking a certain course of action.) During the 1980's interim injunctions would have been relatively common occurrences. However during the Celtic Tiger Boom trade disputes and associated industrial action almost completely disappeared from the headlines. Before reviewing the current situation we will briefly review the basic types of injunctions relating to industrial action:


  1. Interim Injunction - Temporary and short term until an interlocutory injunction can be made. The employer can apply to the court for an interim injunction without informing the trade union or employees and they do not have to be in court for the injunction to be granted.
  2. Interlocutory Injunction - Lasts until a formal trial takes place. It is granted after a short hearing with both parties to the dispute present in court.
  3. Permanent Injunction - This can last indefinitely and is granted after a full trial.


The 1990 IR Act greatly restricts an employers' ability to get an interim injunction, once the union meets the following criteria:


  • A secret ballot has been conducted in accordance with the trade unions rules.
  • The ballot is in favour of industrial action i.e. Pickets, Work to Rule
  • The trade union gives the employer no less then one weeks notice of the industrial action.
  • The trade union or employees are attempting to further a trade dispute and that a fair case has been established.


In the recent electricians dispute a number of businesses including both Cadburys and Diageo took interim injunctions against the TEEU in an effort to stop the union from picketing their sites. In seeking their injunction Cadburys argued that they had not received one weeks notice of the industrial action and that a proper ballot had not been conducted. While Diageo based their argument on the fact that they were not made aware of any trade dispute by the TEEU. For more information please Contact Us