The Registrar of Friendly Societies (RFS), operated by the Companies Registration Office (CRO), is about to cancel the registrations of several trade unions, because of their failure to file annual returns.
The cancellation will go ahead on 27 March because of violations of provisions under section 8 of the Trade Union Acts 1871-1990 to transmit annual returns.
The unions include:
- National Union of Sheet Metal Workers of Ireland, Parnell Square West, Dublin 1,
- The Irish Film Workers Association, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1,
- Irish Taxi and Hackney Owners Association, Hanover Street East, Dublin 2,
- Irish Printing Federation, Tolka Valley Business Park, Dublin 11,
- The Cork Master Butchers' Association, Douglas Shopping Centre, Cork,
- Irish Commercial Horticultural Association, Naas Road, Bluebell, Dublin 12,
- Seamen's Union of Ireland, North Strand Road, Dublin 3,
- Retail Jewellers of Ireland, 29 Annesley Bridge Road, Fairview, Dublin 3,
- Dublin Institute of Technology Academic Staff Association, Kevin Street, Dublin 8,
- Union of Motor Trade, Technical and Industrial Employees, South Frederick Street, Dublin 2.
The CRO has said that, unless all returns are submitted, together with audited accounts, the unions will be cancelled.
A Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation spokeswoman confirmed that, in accordance with section 8, a statutory two months’ notice period was issued to each of the listed trade unions.
In the statutory period, the trade union or persons acting on its behalf, may show why the certificate of registration should not be cancelled, for example, if a trade union rectifies any outstanding default(s) of the legislative requirements.
After the expiry of the statutory period, in the absence of cause being shown, the registrar may cancel the registration of any trade union.
The direct consequences of cancellation of a trade union’s registration are that it ceases to enjoy the privileges of a registered trade union under section 8.
This would include the loss of the right to purchase or lease land.
However, where a trade union has incurred any liability, such liability may be enforced against it as if the cancellation had not taken place, also under section 8.
“There may be further important consequences for such trade unions which do not come within the remit of the RFS,” the spokeswoman said.
Section 7(1) of the Trade Union Act 1941 provides that no body or person can hold a negotiation licence unless it is registered under the Trade Union Acts.
The issue of a negotiation licence is a matter for the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
“The cancellation of the certificate of registration in respect of any trade union would have the effect of invalidation of the basis upon which that trade union can maintain a negotiation licence,” the spokeswoman confirmed.