A former parcel loader with UPS has told a court that when he was unable to produce evidence of previous employment to the company, he had been told he could be “a bomb maker or an IRA terrorist.”
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke awarded Francis Deegan €15,000 compensation for unfair dismissal by United Parcel Service, of North Wall Quay, Dublin.
Deegan, with an address at Coultry Avenue, Santry, Dublin, had appealed a €2,000 compensation award made to him almost six months ago by the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
He said he had been unable to provide documentation in relation to a company background check on his previous employment for the period January 2007 until he joined UPS at its Finglas, Dublin, depot in October 2008.
Deegan told his barrister Conor Bowman that prior to joining UPS he had been working for cash payments from his previous employer who had refused to provide him with a formal proof of employment.
Mr Bowman said the company had refused Mr Deegan an opportunity to make a sworn statement of his earlier employment, although it had allowed other employees to do so.
Deegan said he had been shocked after UPS Transportation Manager John O’Donovan told him at a disciplinary meeting that he could be a bomb maker or an IRA terrorist.
O’Donovan in evidence to the court denied he had referred specifically to Deegan when he talked about a bomb maker. He denied having mentioned the IRA.
He said that in July 2011the company had introduced a five-year background check for its employees following a regulation based on a European Directive on aviation security.
O’Donovan said that UPS, which is licensed by the Department of Transport and the Irish Aviation Authority, wanted to ensure that parcels, which are screened by the company before shipment, were secured for air transport.
Mr Bowman told Judge Groarke that Mr Deegan’s case was an appeal of the compensation award only. The EAT had found that he had been unfairly dismissed but had awarded him only €2,000.
The judge was told Deegan, still jobless, had refused an offer by the company, during the hearing of the court case, to reinstate him. Awarding him €15,000 the judge said UPS had demanded more proof from him than other employees.