29 April 1996
Packard Closure: the government let it happen
Speaking today in Dublin, Seán Crowe, Sinn Fein's representative in Dublin South West strongly criticised both the sudden closure of the Packard plant in Tallaght and the failure of local elected representatives and government ministers to work on behalf of the Packard workforce.
Mr. Crowe said:
``Packard workers have over the past two years done the impossible just to keep their jobs. They agreed to work an extra two hours a week for no pay. They agreed to over 600 redundancies and were always willing to negotiate on changing work practices to facilitate management.
``For this they were condemned, they were constantly attacked by Packard management. They were set impossible tasks to save the plant. Now they are told that it was ``international market forces'' that closed the plant. This is simply scapegoating the workers. It was Packard management who closed this plant and the Dublin government let it happen.
``At no stage during the last two years have the Dublin government ministers faced up to the realities of the situation at Packard. They never publicly acknowledged the exploitative role that Packard implemented by playing off the Irish plant against other Packard plants.
``Instead the Dublin government stood back and facilitated Packard's exploitation of their workforce, collecting IDA grants along the way.
``For over a year 400 workers have been waiting for a redundancy package from Packard. At the very least the coalition should ensure that this is paid and that the remaining workers get a proper settlement. Time will tell if they can even accomplish this small task.''
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