Court findings `devastating indictment’ of restaurant group
Trade union Unite, which represents workers in the hospitality sector, today (Sunday) welcomed the determination by the Irish Labour Court that former Ivy workers Julia Marciniak and Lenka Laiermanova were dismissed by the restaurant on foot of their trade union activities.
Supported by their union, Unite, Ms Marciniak and Ms Laiermanova had appealed decisions by the Workplace Relations Commission which in 2021 had dismissed their claims for unfair dismissal.
Commenting, Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “The Irish Labour Court’s determination is a devastating indictment of the behaviour of Troia (UK) Restaurants Ltd which trades as the Ivy. Unite has always maintained that our members Julia Marciniak and Lenka Laiermanova were dismissed because they organised their colleagues to demand decent treatment, and our view has now been fully vindicated by the Labour Court.
“This determination sends a clear message to bad employers: we will always defend our members, we will take you on, and we will win.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Julia and Lenka for their determination to get justice. This victory will encourage other workers to fight for their rights”.
Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne added: “The original decision by the Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer to dismiss our members’ claims for unfair dismissal was based on the fact that they did not have 12 months’ service and thus did not enjoy the protection afforded by the Unfair Dismissals Act.
“While our members have now won their case because the Labour Court found their dismissals were due to their trade union activities, the original WRC Adjudication Officer’s decision highlights a serious legislative flaw: workers should not have to wait for 12 months in order to be fully protected by our unfair dismissals legislation.”
Julia Marciniak, who is now a Unite Hospitality and Tourism Coordinator, concluded: “While Lenka and I are obviously delighted by this determination, we know that many other workers whose employment rights have been breached do not have a union behind them to take cases to the WRC and Labour Court.
“The key to improving working conditions is for workers to organise collectively in a trade union. Unite members know that their union will always be by their side.”