[Sinn Fein]

October 31 2002

`All IFI workers must get a fair deal' - Ó Snodaigh

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has expressed his deep concern at the treatment of the northern and southern IFI workers who are being made redundant. Deputy Ó Snodaigh will take part in a protest outside the Department of Enterprise and Employment at noon today, to highlight the plight of these workers. Speaking in advance of the protest, Deputy Ó Snodaigh stated:

"There is a clear inequality in how workers are being treated. Under existing legislation the IFI workers are entitled to only half a weeks pay for each year worked under the age of 41 and only one week's pay for every year worked over the age of 41, and one bonus week. But when the Dublin Government allowed the sale of the state-owned ICC Bank to the Bank of Scotland, there was a massive compensation package for former ICC Chief Executive Michael Quinn. His total severance package was worth an astonishing 1.4 million euro - two and a half times his annual salary - and also included a 280,000 euro pension top-up. To get a comparable wage element of this executive package an IFI worker would have to be 153 years at work!

"The Dublin Government must set a positive standard in dealing with redundancies. What chance have we got of getting private sector companies to pay adequate redundancies and behave justly if the Government acts this unfairly when it is the employer involved?

"There is an onus on the government to be fair to these workers - and not only to the IFI workers in Cork and Arklow but also to those at Richardson's Fertilisers in Belfast. All IFI workers must be given a fair deal, and the Belfast workers must also get an deal equal to that of their counterparts in this state.

"The Government's mishandling of this situation sends a very bad signal to the unions who this week begin the process of starting a new round of wage negotiations with employers and Government. Sinn Fein plans to raise this issue when the Dail resumes next week."

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