Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sinn Féin supports workers at 'Game'

The Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Jonathan O'Brien has criticised Game for their failure to give their Irish workers the entitlements they were due.

Yesterday 123 workers in Irish stores were told that they were to be laid off by the video game retailer as it was to close its Irish operation as part of a restructuring plan.Two of these stores are in Cork City.

Deputy O'Brien called on the retailer to pay the workers their full redundancy entitlements.

Deputy O'Brien stated:

“The company Game should hang their heads in shame for the way they treated their loyal workers over the past few days.To inform their employees by phone that their contracts were being terminated this week and expect them to finish without any redundancy or notice is disgraceful."

“The very least a company owes its workers is to inform them properly and professionally that they are to be laid off, and to allow them to work out their notice."

“The company still has 333 stores in the UK so it is obvious they have the resources to fund a fair redundancy package.”

Deputy O'Brien also added the need for the Government to introduce legislation stop this practice continuing.

“This example of worker exploitation is only the latest in a long line of cases where workers have received minimal notice of being laid off and have been denied redundancy payments. It follows on from the cases of TalkTalk,La Senza, Lagan Brick and the Vita Cortex workers in Cork. How many times must this happen before the Government takes action?"

“We in Sinn Fein are calling on the government to introduce legislation to ensure this behavior stops as soon as possible."

“Politicians from across the political spectrum have indicated that they are in favour of protecting workers from this practice.Its time to accelerate this process so we as legislators do what we can to protect our citizens from ruthless companies where greed is their sole aim.We in Sinn Fein hope to bring forward proposals to this effect in the coming weeks.”ENDS

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Disappointment at announcement of Job losses at Waters Munster Glass- O'Brien

Speaking today following the announcement of the job loses in Waters Glass in Cork Jonathan O'Brien expressed his disappointment that the factory was not saved.

Jonathan along with local area Cllr Mick Nugent attended the factory to meet with the workers yesterday.

He stated
"Having spoken to the workers at the factory yesterday my understanding is that an opportunity to save the jobs failed at the last moment due to a failure to reach an agreement with the banks on a takeover bid.This is a terrible blow to the workers many with young families and mortgages and to Cork City as a whole.

All 84 jobs are to be lost with 41 of those today Tuesday.My hope is that these jobs could still be saved if there was intervention by Government.I will be speaking with the Dept of Enterprise today to explore the possibility of saving the remaining jobs. These skilled workers are facing into what is a very bleak jobs market.The continued austerity of this Government is not helping and they need to take a new direction."

Clrr Mick Nugent added
"This is a major loss to the north side of Cork.The Government needs to actively protect the jobs that are in place through early intervention and avoid what has happened here in Cork today."END

Sinn Féin Calls on Public to Support “D-Day Defiance” Protest at City Hall

Sinn Féin Calls on Public to Support “D-Day Defiance” Protest at City Hall

Sinn Féin councilor Chris O’Leary has called on the householders of Cork to come out and join the “D-Day Defiance” protest at City Hall on Saturday 31st March at 1pm. Saturday is the deadline for payment of the household charge.

Speaking today, Cllr O’Leary said:

“The boycott of the tax by the vast majority of householders shows that people have refused their consent to the tax and it is completely illegitimate. Rather than further escalate the campaign of fear and intimidation we have seen saw emanating from the government in recent days, the cabinet should reverse course and abolish the household charge.”

“Sinn Féin will hold a demonstration this weekend in opposition to the €100 household charge. It will be a show of defiance at this unfair and inequitable tax as the deadline for payment passes.”

“The ‘D-Day Defiance’ protest at Cork City Hall at 1pm on Saturday 31st March will have a number of guest speakers and will also see the release of balloons to signify the continued boycott against the Household Charge.”

“The rally is also an opportunity for people to show that the scaremongering and bullyboy tactics of the government will not work. Recently we have had the scandalous suggestion that council staff, who are already over-stretched due to cutbacks and staff reductions, will be sent out to door to door to collect the tax. The fact is the government has simply got this issue wrong. They failed to listen to the people, and their best option now is to reverse this unjust tax.”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Chris O’Leary @ 087-2794307

Monday, March 26, 2012

Taxpayer Boycott Proves Household Charge Illegitimate

Taxpayer Boycott Proves Household Charge Illegitimate

Jonathan O’Brien TD and Sinn Féin’s five Cork city councillors have called on the government to reverse course on the household charge, as the level of public opposition shows people have refused their consent to the tax and it is completely illegitimate.

The Sinn Féin representatives said:

“The household charge is one of the most inequitable ever to have been imposed by an Irish government. A millionaire company director and a state pensioner will be charged exactly the same.”

“Plainly, people recognise this and are making an informed decision not to pay. With only days remaining to the deadline, less than 20% of householders have registered for or paid this tax.”

“As public representatives, we support people in making this stand. Those of us who as householders are liable to the tax have taken personal decisions not to pay.”

“There was never any justification for imposing a tax on the family home to pay for the losses of reckless bankers. The boycott of the tax by the vast majority of householders shows that people have refused their consent to the tax and it is completely illegitimate. Rather than further escalate the campaign of fear and intimidation we saw emanating from the government last week, the cabinet should reverse course and abolish the household charge.”

For further information or comment contact Jonathan O’Brien TD @ 086-0274142

Friday, March 23, 2012

“Stop the Handover” Protest Tomorrow

“Stop the Handover” Protest Tomorrow

Cork Sinn Féin will hold a protest in Daunt Square from 1pm tomorrow as part of its ongoing “Stop the Handover” campaign.

Speaking today, Cllr O’Leary said:

“In recent days there have been suggestions that a deal is about to be reached with the ECB to restructure the payment of the Anglo promissory note.”

“However no amount of spin on the part of Minister Noonan can alter the fact that this government and the ECB intend to make the Irish taxpayer cover the entire €31 billion cost of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank, together with billions of euro more in interest payments.”

“Neither has the government reversed its intention to pay out a further €1 billion to unguaranteed, unsecured bondholders in Irish banks by the end of this year.”

“Will the deal announced by the Finance Minister on Tuesday night have any impact on the state’s debt-to-GDP ratio, and on our ability to return to the bond markets next year?”

“Will the deal have any impact on this year’s deficit, or the government’s plans to suck €3.8 billion from the economy in 2012 and a further €2.25 billion from the economy in 2013 in spending cuts and tax hikes?

“These questions have not been answered by the government.”

“At the moment, it appears that what they have chiefly succeeded in doing is turning the promissory note issued to Anglo into fully fledged sovereign debt – with all of the consequences that brings.”

“The Irish people should not have to pay, with tax rises and spending cuts, for the reckless actions of private bankers. No payments should be made in respect of the promissory note or to unsecured bondholders. This remains Sinn Féin’s position.”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Chris O’Leary @ 087-2794307

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No Justification for Cutback in SNAs-O'Leary

No Justification for Cutback in SNAs-O'Leary

Sinn Féin councillor Chris O’Leary has said there is no justification for the proposed culling of four Special Needs Assistant posts at the Sonas Special Junior Primary School in Carrigaline.

Cllr O’Leary said:

“Sonas services pupils from a wide area, including Cork City and significant parts of the county. It provides vital support to these children and their families.”

“Parents were recently informed that four special needs assistants at the school are to be let go in August. They have begun an active campaign to save these jobs.”

“The decision to cut the positions is totally unjustified, and appears particularly illogical given that this is one of the schools promised a new school building by Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn. It is also noteworthy that while cutting these four Special Needs Assistants will save the exchequer €120,000 per year, local Fine Gael minister Simon Coveney recently employed an advisor at an annual salary of €110,000.”

“Which is more important – children’s need for education or Minister Coveney’s requirement for an additional, and overpaid, advisor? The proposed cutbacks are totally unjustifiable and must not be allowed go ahead.”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Chris O’Leary @ 087-2794307

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fine Gael Councillors Attempting to Stifle Debate-Nugent

Fine Gael Councillors Attempting to Stifle Debate-Nugent

Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent has accused Fine Gael members of Cork City Council of attempting to stifle debate on the local authority. He was speaking in response to a motion the government party put through council last night which declares that in future motions must be sent either to the relevant committee or the corporate policy group for report before they can be discussed by council.

Cllr Nugent said:

“It has been the long-standing practice on the council that motions which do not impact on a particular aspect of council policy, and do not require a report on their implications from the relevant officials, are debated on the floor of the council at the meeting after they are proposed.”

“Fine Gael’s decision to change the rules means that even motions on topical issues, such as the household charge or the sell-off of state assets, will now be sent to the Corporate Policy Group, where they may be waiting for weeks before being discussed.”

“The reason given for this change is to increase the efficiency of the council and reduce the time taken up at meetings. But the Fine Gael councillors have no problem spending up to an hour of meetings proposing votes of congratulations.”

“City Council, as the tier of government closest to the people, has a legitimate right to discuss topical issues and national policy, in particular where these have an impact on the people of Cork and the work of the council itself. Fine Gael councillors, under the guise of reforming the way the council does business, are simply attempting to stifle debate and protect the government from criticism.”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Mick Nugent @ 087-6755793