Christmas sit-in - Irish ex-workers demand pay
32 dismissed workers and their families look for pay
A Christmas sit-in by 32 dismissed workers and members of their families continues, although the owner claims he could pay redundancies if government-controlled NAMA money were freed to him.
Millionaire owner Jock Ronan denied that he is otherwise able to make redundancy payments at a closed Cork production plant where the sit-in is in its fourth week.
The workers, some of whom have been employed for up to 40 years at the Vita Vortex plant, which produces foams for the furniture computer industries, want the same 2.9 weeks rate of pay per year of service received by others who took redundancy from the firm in recent years.
Instead, they have only been offered €1,500 plus a total of two weeks each.
Several trade unions have promised to support the workers when they rally at the Dail (Parliament) this week. The government is anxious to prevent the dispute spreading nationwide
Ronan, who has been linked by shares and directorships to 29 other companies in Ireland and the U.K., has said his current financial position does not allow him to make funds available to pay redundancy to the sit-in workers.
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In his first public statement last weekend since the Cork premises was occupied when it was closed on December 16, he criticized the “negative and inaccurate publicity” which suggested the company had the funds to meet the redundancy payment.
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