A SIPTU member secured an award of more than €40,000 at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) following his unfair dismissal by his employer, McGuire Haulage Limited, with a head office in Thomastown, county Kilkenny.  SIPTU Workers Rights Centre Advocate, Rachel Hartery, said: “This case involved SIPTU member, Des O’Farrell,  who was forced to resign from his job after the company failed in its contractual duty to provide work for him to carry out.   “The problems for Des began when he entered his place of work, the Danone food production plant at Rocklands in county Wexford, where he worked under the management of McGuire Haulage Limited, out of hours to retrieve his work mobile phone in June, 2019. McGuire Haulage said it viewed his actions as a security breach, although employees had never been formally advised not to enter the Rocklands site after hours and off duty. The company then suggested to Danone that Des be banned from the site. When this ban was implemented, it resulted in Des being unable to carry out his work.  “McGuire Haulage offered Des work in Dublin but this was not a suitable option for him. At the hearing the company claimed that Des was still employed although it had offered work that was not viable for him. However, the WRC adjudicator found that the onus was on the employer to either provide suitable work or terminate his contract and that McGuire Haulage did neither which had effectively ended our members’ 23 years of loyal service to the company.” She added: “This is an important victory for Des as he was without work or income for a considerable amount of time.” Des O’Farrell said: “SIPTU were very helpful to me in this case. I would urge all workers to be in a union. The result of my case shows how important union membership is.”