Cork Workers Party councillor Ted Tynan has said that the state and its industrial relations mechanisms has utterly failed the Vita Cortex workers who are continuing their action at the factory on Kinsale Road in the city where they have been sitting in since December 17th.
Cllr. Tynan said that despite public statements from senior politicians and visits from leading trade union officials, the workers at Vita Cortex were being forced to leave the comfort of their homes in order to ensure they get their entitlements while their employer is intent on moving on and forgetting about them.
The Workers’ Party councillor said it was time for a total overhaul of the laws governing Limited Liability whereby company directors with considerable assets could simply walk away from their responsibilities. “This is not the first time”, said Cllr. Tynan, “that workers have been left without their rightful redundancy payments because of the laws on limited liability. If wealthy individuals own companies they should be liable for those companies’ debts, especially to their employees. It is time this Victorian loophole was finally closed up and there is an onus on the government to do that”
“Despite the presence of the Labour Party in government, led by a former national trade union figure and despite more than 20 years of so-called partnership, the Vita Cortex workers are barely better off than the locked-out workers of the 1913 Dublin lockout”, he said.
“Clearly there is one law for the employer and another for the workers. There is special treatment for the rich bankers and speculators who have the full protection of the law and the open purse of the state, but when it comes down to the payment of redundancy packages employers can simply walk away and leave workers who have given forty years and more of loyal service without a just and meaningful settlement”.
Cllr. Tynan has called for massive public support for the Vita Cortex workers and their families and has demanded action, not words from the government and its backbenchers. “When it comes to bailing out banks”, said Cllr. Tynan, “there is a bottomless pit of taxpayer’s money, but when it comes to loyal workers getting justice they have to sit in and fight for it. If NAMA can pay hundreds of thousands of euro to speculators whose own gambling has got them into trouble, then NAMA can pay the redundancy owed to these workers and should fully pursue the owners of Vita Cortex so that the state is not out of pocket.”
Issued 5th January 2012