The Supreme Court has declared REAs (Registered Employment Agreements) unconstitutional . This could result in a lowering of the rates of pay for many workers in the electrical and constriction industry in Ireland. (It could also mean lower prices for consumers)
Although REAs are no longer constitutional, contracts of employment can not be unilaterally altered without agreement with employees.
Dave Butler of the National Electrical Contractors of Ireland welcomed the decision. He said that all REAs are now unconstitutional and invalid. Mr Butler said that up to today the NECI had been bound by REAs that it had no part in negotiating.
Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said the Government intends to study the finding and get legal advice before commenting in detail.
He said: “The judgment has the effect of striking down Registered Employment Agreements put in place under the 1946 Industrial Relations Act.”
Existing contractual rights of workers in sectors covered by Registered Employment Agreement are unaffected by today’s ruling, he added.