Dáil Éireann - Volume 372 - 21 May, 1987
Written Answers. - NÉT/ICI Joint Venture.
Mr. Spring Mr. Spring
46. Mr. Spring asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he has satisfied himself that worker representation, in accordance with the spirit of the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act, 1977, will be continued following the NÉT/ICI joint venture; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Reynolds) Albert Reynolds
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Reynolds): The Worker Participation (State Enterprise) Act, 1977, enables the employees of certain State enterprises to participate in the making of decisions by the enterprise, and for those purposes provide for the appointment of employees of such enterprises as members or directors thereof, and provides for the election of such employees for such appointment.
Nitrigin Eireann Teoranta (NÉT) is a designated body under this Act and under the Act there are four directors on its board out of a total of twelve members. Under the joint venture arrangement with ICI, NÉT will become a holding  company with 51 per cent of the shares in the joint venture company, the remaining 49 per cent of shares being held by ICI. Worker director elections will continue to be held amongst the NÉT workforce after they transfer to the joint venture company. Arising from the result of these elections four worker directors will be appointed to the board of NÉT. The joint venture company will provide the elected persons with paid leave of absence to attend the board meetings of NÉT.
On 10 December 1986 the Minister for Labour in the previous Government introduced the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Bill, 1986. In presenting the Bill to the Seanad the Minister stated that he was introducing a number of improvements in the original model which had been prompted by the experience of its operation and indicated that the new Bill would allow for the right to participate in worker director elections to be extended to the employees of subsidiaries. While the Deputy is aware that the 1986 Bill lapsed on the dissolution of the last Dáil, it is worth noting that that provision was in line with the proposed arrangements for worker representation in the NÉT/ICI joint venture situation.
I am satisfied accordingly that the proposed arrangements for continued election of employees to the Board of NÉT are in line with the spirit of the Worker Participation (State Enterprise) Act, 1977.
Dáil Éireann 372 Written Answers. NÉT/ICI Joint Venture.