Dáil Éireann - Volume 359 - 06 June, 1985

Written Answers. - Worker Participation Act.

92. Mr. Taylor asked the Minister for Labour if he has seen a report in the media (details supplied) on 15 April 1985 in relation to a pending report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Commercial State-Sponsored Bodies in which reference was made to the failure of the board of Irish Shipping Limited to keep adequate control on their own senior executives to ensure that they were kept informed of major decisions; in this connection having regard to section 25 of the Workers Participation Act, 1977, if he will identify any order made by him under that section in which a quorum has been fixed for the semi-State bodies to which the Act relates: and if he will state the text of the appropriate Standing Orders of each and every such body under which provision is made to enable a specific number of board members to convene meetings of the board in much the same way as special meetings of local authorities are convened under statute or regulations.

[735] Minister for Labour (Mr. Quinn): Irish Shipping Limited has never been a designated body under the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act, 1977, and questions on the company should be addressed, in the first instance, to the Minister for Communications. In the circumstances, I do not propose to comment here on the report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Commercial State-Sponsored Bodies on Irish Shipping Limited mentioned in the Deputy's question.

Section 25 of the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act, 1977, does not confer on me the power to make an order fixing a quorum in respect of a designated body. This is a matter for the Minister with primary responsibility for the designated State enterprise. My role in this regard under the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act, 1977, is purely a consultative one. Statutory Instrument No. 196 of 1979, made by the then Minister for Transport and Power on 1 June 1979, fixes the quorum for a meeting of the board of the B & I Company Limited at six. This is the only order made under section 25.

The Deputy might also note that an order under this section cannot be made unless a resolution approving the draft has been passed by each House of the Oireachtas. The Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act, 1977, makes provision for the appointment of elected worker directors to the boards of seven State enterprises (Aer Lingus Teoranta, British and Irish Steampacket Company Limited, Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann Teoranta, Nitrigín Éireann Teoranta, Bord na Móna, Córas Iompair Éireann, Electricity Supply Board). The Act is not primarily concerned with the conduct of board meetings, and the Minister for Labour has no function in relation to provisions allowing board meetings to be called by requisition.