On Tuesday 18th December 2012, two representatives from the AECI; Mr Tommy Maher and Mr Chris Lundy attended a hearing in the Supreme Court which was also attended by representatives of TEEU, NECTA, NECI, ECA/CIF. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation were also represented.
The entire day from approximately 10.30am – 4.30pm was taken up with strong legal arguments by Senior Council Nuala Butler (Council for the Electrical Contractors) and Senior Council Quinn (Council for the Labour Court) and five Judges presided over the hearing.
Senior Council Nuala Butler was very effective continually pushing her arguments and challenge on Constitutional Grounds and the key point in her submission was that the Electrical REA was contrary to Article 15 of the Constitution.
It brought up the issue that only the Oireachtas, had the power to enact a law and that the Labour Court had no authority to bring in legislation. Questions were asked with the regard to the lack of safeguards to the original 1946 Industrial Relations Act.
We understand that the Final Judgement from the Supreme Court could take up to two months or more.
Our personal feeling (with no legal background) is that Senior Council Nuala Butler put her case in a strong enough fashion to defeat the Senior Council for the Labour Court.
AECI will be waiting and watching the outcome and will keep you informed.