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22 1941

TRADE UNION ACT, 1941

PART III.

Establishment and Functions of Trade Union Tribunal.

Commencement of Part III.

18. —This Part of this Act shall come into operation on such date, not earlier than six months after the date on which section 6 of this Act comes into operation, as the Minister by order appoints for that purpose.

Definition for purposes of Part III.

19. —In this Part of this Act the expression “trade union” means a trade union which is the holder of a negotiation licence granted under Part II of this Act.

Establishment of Trade Union Tribunal.

20. —The Minister may establish a tribunal to be known as the Trade Union Tribunal (in this Part of this Act referred to as the Tribunal) consisting of a chairman and four ordinary members to fulfil the functions assigned to it by this Part of this Act.

Chairman of the Tribunal.

21. —(1) The chairman of the Tribunal shall be a practising barrister of at least ten years' standing or a practising solicitor of like standing or a person experienced in the operation of trade unions or in the settling of trade disputes and shall be appointed by the Minister for such period not exceeding five years as he thinks fit.

(2) The chairman of the Tribunal may at any time be removed from office by the Minister and may at any time resign his office.

(3) The chairman of the Tribunal shall be paid such fees or other remuneration as the Minister for Finance determines.

(4) If the chairman of the Tribunal is for any reason temporarily unable to attend the sittings of the Tribunal, the Minister may appoint another person, having the qualifications stated in sub-section (1) of this section to act temporarily as the chairman of the Tribunal during such inability.

Panels of persons eligible for appointment as ordinary members of the Tribunal.

22. —(1) The Minister shall maintain two panels of persons eligible for appointment as ordinary members of the Tribunal, the one (in this Part of this Act referred to as the masters' panel) consisting of persons nominated by trade unions of masters and bodies representative, in the opinion of the Minister, of such trade unions or of industry, and the other (in this Part of this Act referred to as the workmen's panel) consisting of persons nominated by trade unions of workmen and bodies representative, in the opinion of the Minister, of such trade unions.

(2) Each body mentioned in sub-section (1) of this section shall have the right to nominate one person to the masters' panel or the workmen's panel (as may be appropriate).

Appointment of ordinary members of the Tribunal.

23. —(1) Of the ordinary members of the Tribunal, two shall be persons appointed from the masters' panel and two shall be persons appointed from the workmen's panel.

(2) Every ordinary member of the Tribunal shall be appointed by the Minister for such period not exceeding five years as he thinks proper.

(3) Any ordinary member of the Tribunal may at any time be removed from office by the Minister and may at any time resign his office.

(4) Every ordinary member of the Tribunal shall be paid such fees or other remuneration as the Minister for Finance determines.

(5) If any ordinary member of the Tribunal is for any reason temporarily unable to attend the sittings of the Tribunal, the Minister may appoint another person from the same panel as that from which such member was appointed to act temporarily as a member of the Tribunal during such inability.

Composition of Tribunal during sittings.

24. —(1) Three members of the Tribunal shall sit at every sitting thereof and such three members shall be—

(a) where the relevant application to the Tribunal was made by a trade union of masters—the chairman and the members appointed from the masters' panel, and

(b) where such application was made by a trade union of workmen—the chairman and the members appointed from the workmen's panel.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the immediately preceding sub-section of this section, if any ordinary member of the Tribunal is, in the opinon of the Minister, directly interested in any of the trade unions concerned in an application to the Tribunal, such member shall not sit at the sitting of the Tribunal at which such application is heard and another person appointed by the Minister from the same panel as that from which such member was appointed shall sit at such sitting in the place of such member.

(3) At every sitting of the Tribunal, the Tribunal may, save as otherwise provided by this Act, act by a majority.

Functions of Tribunal in relation to trade unions of masters.

25. —(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, where application is made to the Tribunal by a trade union which claims to have organised for the purpose of the carrying on of negotiations for the fixing of wages and other conditions of employment a majority of masters of a particular class for a determination that such trade union alone shall have the right to so organise masters of that class, the Tribunal after hearing such application and having considered all the circumstances of the case, shall, as they consider proper in the public interest, either—

(a) grant such determination, or

(b) refuse to grant such determination, or

(c) determine that two or more specified trade unions alone shall have the right to so organise masters of that class.

(2) The Tribunal shall not grant a determination under this section that a trade union registered under the law of another country and having its headquarters control in that country or two or more such trade unions shall alone have the right to organise masters of any particular class.

(3) When considering an application under this section, the Tribunal shall hear every person who wishes to be heard and appears to have an interest in such application and shall receive any evidence tendered by such person.

(4) For the purposes of this section masters may be classified by reference to a class to which they belong, by reference to an area in which they carry on trade, or by reference to such a class and such an area, and the word “class” shall be construed in this section accordingly.

Functions of Tribunal in relation to trade unions of workmen.

26. —(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, where application is made to the Tribunal by a trade union which claims to have organised for the purpose of the carrying on of negotiations for the fixing of wages and other conditions of employment a majority of workmen of any particular class for a determination that such trade union alone shall have the right to so organise workmen of that class, the Tribunal, after hearing such application and having considered all the circumstances of the case, shall, as they consider proper in the public interest, either—

(a) grant such determination, or

(b) refuse to grant such determination, or

(c) determine that two or more specified trade unions alone shall have the right to so organise workmen of that class.

(2) The Tribunal shall not grant a determination under this section that a trade union registered under the law of another country and having its headquarters control in that country or two or more such trade unions shall alone have the right to organise workmen of any particular class.

(3) Before granting under this section a determination that a particular trade union shall alone have the right to organise workmen of a particular class, the Tribunal shall require such trade union to satisfy the Tribunal that the grant of such determination will not affect adversely any rights or claims to benefits enjoyed for the time being by any of such workmen as members of a trade union.

(4) Before granting under this section a determination that a particular trade union or unions shall alone have the right to organise workmen of a particular class, the Tribunal may, if it thinks proper, require such trade union or unions to satisfy the Tribunal that such trade union or unions will provide suitable employment or reasonable compensation for any officers of a trade union who will lose their employment in consequence of such determination.

(5) When considering an application under this section, the Tribunal shall hear every person who desires to be heard and appears to have an interest in such application and shall receive any evidence tendered by such person.

(6) No application shall be made to the Tribunal under this section by any civil service staff association.

(7) For the purposes of this section workmen may be classified by reference to a class to which they belong, by reference to an area in which they work, or by reference to such a class and such an area, and the word “class” shall be construed in this section accordingly.

Ballots.

27. —(1) Before making a determination under the immediately preceding section, the Tribunal may, for the purpose of obtaining the opinion in relation to such determination of the workmen whom the Tribunal considers are concerned therein, arrange for the holding of such ballot or ballots among such workmen or any class or classes of such workmen as the Tribunal considers proper.

(2) Where a ballot under this section is a ballot among members of a particular trade union, the Tribunal may require such trade union to carry out such ballot in accordance with the directions of the Tribunal and to report the result of such ballot to the Tribunal.

(3) If any trade union fails to comply with any requirement of the Tribunal under this section, such trade union shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.

Restriction on applications to Tribunal.

28. —(1) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class, no application shall subsequently be made by any of such trade unions to the Tribunal in relation to masters or workmen of that class until at least five years after the grant of such determination.

(2) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone or two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class, no application shall subsequently be made by any other trade union to the Tribunal in relation to masters or workmen of that class until at least five years after the grant of such determination or, where during the said five years such determination becomes revoked, until after such revocation.

Notice requiring review of determination of Tribunal.

29. —Any trade union aggrieved by a determination of the Tribunal may, within one month after the grant thereof, give notice in writing to the Minister that they require such determination to be reviewed, but the giving of such notice shall not affect the operation of such determination.

Constitution of Appeal Board.

30. —(1) Whenever the Minister receives a notice under the next preceding section in relation to any determination of the Tribunal, the Minister shall constitute a Board (in this Part of this Act referred to as an Appeal Board) to review such determination and shall submit such determination to such Board for review.

(2) Every Appeal Board shall consist of—

(a) a chairman who shall be a Judge of the High Court or Circuit Court nominated by the President of the High Court, and

(b) two ordinary members nominated by the Minister—

(i) in case the relevant determination relates to one or more trade unions of masters, from the masters' panel, and

(ii) in case it relates to one or more trade unions of workmen, from the workmen's panel.

(3) A person nominated under paragraph (b) of the next preceding sub-section of this section—

(a) shall not be a person who was a member of the Tribunal when the determination to be reviewed was given, and

(b) shall be a person who, in the opinion of the Minister, is not directly interested in any of the trade unions concerned in such determination.

(4) Each ordinary member of an Appeal Board shall be paid such fees or other remuneration as the Minister for Finance determines.

Functions of Appeal Board.

31. —Where a determination of the Tribunal is submitted to an Appeal Board for review the Appeal Board shall hear every person who desires to be heard and appears to have an interest in such determination and shall receive any evidence tendered by such person, and the following provisions shall thereupon have effect, that is to say:—

(a) if the Appeal Board, having considered all the circumstances of the case, are unanimously of opinion—

(i) that such determination is not in the public interest, or

(ii) that, in case such determination relates to one or more trade unions of workmen, the Tribunal, when making such determination, did not adequately safeguard the rights and claims to benefits enjoyed by any workmen and adversely affected by such determination or the position of officers of trade unions so adversely affected, or

(iii) that the tribunal did not make such determination in a sufficiently precise form,

the Board shall, upon grounds stated by it, refer such determination back to the Tribunal for reconsideration,

(b) in any other case, the Appeal Board shall decline to interfere with such determination.

Functions of Tribunal where determination is referred back.

32. —(1) Where a determination is referred back under the immediately preceding section to the Tribunal for reconsideration, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

(a) if the Tribunal is unanimously of opinion that no change in such determination is necessary, the Tribunal shall decline to interfere with such determination,

(b) in any other case, the chairman of the Tribunal shall either (as may be appropriate having regard to the views of the Appeal Board) revoke such determination without giving a new determination or make a new determination embodying the views of the Appeal Board.

(2) Where the chairman, under paragraph (b) of the foregoing sub-section, makes a determination, such determination shall be deemed to be a determination of the Tribunal and shall be final and not open to review.

Revocation of determinations of the Tribunal.

33. —(1) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act in relation to masters or workmen of any particular class and immediately before the grant thereof a previous determination under this Part of this Act in relation to masters or workmen of that class is in force, the first mentioned determination shall operate to revoke such previous determination.

(2) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class and subsequently the negotiation licence granted to such trade union under Part II of this Act becomes revoked, such revocation shall also operate to revoke such determination.

(3) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class and subsequently both or all of the negotiation licences granted to such trade unions under Part II of this Act become revoked, the second or lastly occurring of such revocations shall also operate to revoke such determination.

(4) Whenever a negotiation licence to which sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) of this section applies is revoked the Minister shall take such steps as he considers adequate by the publication of notices in the public press or otherwise to make known to persons likely to be affected by such revocation that the said negotiation licence has been revoked.

Effect of determination of Tribunal.

34. —(1) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone shall have the right to organise masters of any particular class, no other trade union shall thereafter, so long as such determination remains unrevoked, accept as a new member any master of that class.

(2) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters of any particular class, no other trade union shall thereafter, so long as such determination remains unrevoked, accept as a new member any master of that class.

(3) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone shall have the right to organise workmen of any particular class, no other trade union shall thereafter, so long as such determination remains unrevoked, accept as a new member any workman of that class.

(4) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise workmen of any particular class, no other trade union shall thereafter, so long as such determination remains unrevoked, accept as a new member any workman of that class.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, no determination under this Part of this Act shall—

(a) extend to or apply in respect of any civil service staff association, or

(b) operate to prevent any organisation of teachers recognised by the Minister for Education from accepting any teacher as a new member of such organisation, or

(c) operate to prevent any trade union which does not carry on negotiations for fixing wages or other conditions of employment from accepting any person as a new member.

(6) If, in relation to any trade union, there is a contravention of any sub-section of this section, such of the members and officers of such trade union as consent to or facilitate such contravention and, in the case of a trade union registered under the Trade Union Acts, 1871 to 1935, the trade union itself shall each be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.

Obligation to admit to membership of trade union.

35. —(1) Where—

(a) a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class, and

(b) while such determination remains unrevoked, a person claiming to be a master or workman of that class duly applies to be admitted as a member of such trade union and undertakes to comply with its rules,

such trade union shall either—

(i) if satisfied that it is undesirable to admit such person as a member of such trade union on account of his bad character or on account of his previous expulsion from such trade union for a gross breach or continuous breaches of its rules, by order (in this section referred to as a refusal order) refuse to accept such person as a member, or

(ii) in any other case, accept such person as a member.

(2) Every refusal order shall state the grounds upon which it is based.

(3) The person to whom a refusal order relates may appeal to the Justice of the District Court having jurisdiction in the place where such person ordinarily resides for an annulment of such refusal order and such justice may, as he thinks proper, grant or refuse to grant such annulment.

(4) In an application to the District Court for the annulment of a refusal, order, no ground other than a ground stated in such order shall be advanced in opposition to such application.

(5) Where a refusal order is annulled under this section, the trade union concerned shall accept as a member the person to whom such refusal order related.

(6) Where a trade union—

(a) in a case to which sub-section (1) of this section applies, fails to either make a refusal order or accept the relevant applicant for membership as a member, or

(b) when required by virtue of sub-section (5) of this section to accept as a member any person, fails so to do,

such of the members and officers of such trade union as consent to or facilitate such failure and, in the case of a trade union registered under the Trade Union Acts, 1871 to 1935, the trade union itself shall each be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.

Regulations for proceedings before Tribunal and Appeal Boards.

36. —(1) The Minister may make regulations in relation to all or any of the following matters, that is to say:—

(a) the times and places of the sittings of the Tribunal and of Appeal Boards;

(b) the persons to whom and the times and manner in which notice of the sittings of the Tribunal and of Appeal Boards shall be given;

(c) the admission or exclusion of the public to or from sittings of the Tribunal and of Appeal Boards;

(d) such other matters in relation to the practice and procedure of the Tribunal and of Appeal Boards as the Minister may consider necessary or expedient for the proper conduct of the business of the Tribunal and of Appeal Boards;

(e) the fees payable under section 38 of this Act.

(2) Every regulation made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling such regulation is passed by either such House within the next twenty-one days on which such House has sat after such regulation is laid before it, such regulation shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

Attendance of witnesses, etc.

37. —(1) The Tribunal and an Appeal Board shall have all such powers, rights, and privileges for enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath (which any member of the Tribunal or an Appeal Board is hereby authorised to administer) or otherwise and for compelling the production of documents as are vested in the High Court or a judge thereof in respect of the trial of an action, and a summons signed by the chairman of the Tribunal or of an Appeal Board shall be equivalent to and have the like effect as a formal process issued by the High Court for enforcing the attendance of witnesses or compelling the production of documents, as the case may be.

(2) If any person—

(a) on being duly summoned as a witness before the Tribunal or an Appeal Board makes default in attending, or

(b) being in attendance as a witness refuses to take an oath legally required by the Tribunal or an Appeal Board to be taken, or to produce any document in his power or control legally required by the Tribunal or an Appeal Board to be produced by him, or to answer any question to which the Tribunal or an Appeal Board may legally require an answer, or

(c) does any thing which would, if the Tribunal or an Appeal Board were a Court of Justice having power to commit for contempt of Court, be contempt of such Court,

the Tribunal or such Appeal Board may certify the offence of that person under their hands to the High Court and that Court may, after such inquiry as it thinks proper to make, punish or take steps for the punishment of that person in like manner as if he had been guilty of contempt of the said Court.

(3) A witness before the Tribunal or an Appeal Board shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he were a witness before the High Court.

Fees.

38. —(1) A trade union making an application to the Tribunal under this Part of this Act shall, as a condition precedent to the entertainment of such application, pay to the Tribunal the prescribed fee.

(2) A trade union giving to the Minister a notice requiring a determination under this Part of this Act to be reviewed shall, as a condition precedent to the acceptance of such notice, pay to the Minister the prescribed fee.

(3) All fees under this section shall be collected and taken in such manner as the Minister for Finance directs, and shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the said Minister.

(4) The Public Offices Fees Act, 1879, shall not apply in respect of any fee under this section.

Costs.

39. —(1) The costs in relation to sittings of the Tribunal of the parties appearing at such sittings shall be in the discretion of the Tribunal and the Tribunal may direct to and by whom and in what manner those costs or any part thereof shall be paid.

(2) The costs in relation to sittings of an Appeal Board of the parties appearing at such sittings shall be in the discretion of such Board and such Board may direct to and by whom and in what manner those costs or any part thereof shall be paid.

(3) Where the Tribunal or an Appeal Board awards any costs under this section, the Tribunal or such Appeal Board (as the case may be) may themselves tax the amount of the costs or may direct in what manner they are to be taxed.

(4) Costs awarded under this section shall, in default of payment, be recoverable as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Staff of the Tribunal.

40. —(1) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, appoint such officers and servants of the Tribunal and Appeal Boards as he may consider necessary for assisting the Tribunal and Appeal Boards in the performance of their functions.

(2) The officers and servants of the Tribunal and Appeal Boards shall hold office upon such terms and be remunerated at such rate and in such manner as the Minister for Finance shall sanction.