Czech staff at Verizon wins €4,000 penalisation award

Communications giant Verizon won’t have to pay hotel bills and conference fees to four staff representatives for a training course following a landmark case before the Workplace Relations Commission.

The dispute, centring on an invoice for under €12,000 and conference fees of around €1,250 for four attendees, plus travel and subsistence, was contested over five days of hearing by high-powered legal teams, including top Irish employment law barristers and the former German minister for justice.

However, in issuing its first-ever rulings under the 1996 Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Act 1996, the tribunal ordered the telecoms major to pay a Czech worker €4,000 for penalisation after accusing him of “misleading” local managers about the conference, and threatening disciplinary action.

The WRC also ordered Verizon to split an €11,220 bill from a legal expert who advised members of its pan-European works council on Brexit and the lapsing of a previous negotiating agreement with the committee’s chairman.

The complaints were taken against Verizon Ireland Ltd, representing the central management of the group, by workers Jan Frӧding of its Swedish subsidiary; Pavel Macho of the Czech arm; Kevin Rodgers of its Danish firm and Jean-Phillippe Charpentier, an employee of the multinational’s French subsidiary and chairman of its European Works Council.

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