A vegetable processing and packaging business paid only a 5 cent per hour Sunday allowance to a minimum wage worker who was required to regularly work 15 hour days.
At the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), Adjudicator Catherine Byrne has ordered Co Monaghan based vegetable processing firm, Sillis Green Veg Ltd to pay Ms Aldona Pileckiene €15,000 compensation for two breaches of the Organisation of Working Time Act and one breach of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act.
Ms Byrne has found that Aldona Pileckiene’s working conditions relating to Sunday work and her excessively long working hours “resulted in serious contraventions” of the OWT Act.
On behalf of Ms Pileckiene, Joe Smith BL, instructed by Elena Gray of Barry Healy & Co Solicitors, told the WRC hearing that Ms Pileckiene started work at 4.00am and sometimes 3.00am and was required to work “until finished” meaning that she regularly worked 13, 14 or 15 hours a day.
In evidence, Lithuanian national, Ms Pileckiene said that a busy week could be her working 65, 66 or 67 hours and the longest she ever worked was 75 hours per week and sometimes she said she worked 17 or 18 hours a day.