Date Released: 19 October 2016
SIPTU has called on the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, to ensure that workers being made redundant in the West Cork Development Partnership (WCDP) receive their full legal entitlements.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Eddie Mullins, said: “It is unacceptable that workers previously engaged in delivering the LEADER programme, who are now being made redundant, will not receive their full legal entitlements, due to a decision made by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
“WCDP was notified in June they were not the preferred ‘local action group’ to implement the LEADER programme in the west Cork area. At that stage, the WCDP initiated an appeal, which was unsuccessful, and it also began discussions with the Department to consider the implications of the loss of the LEADER programme.
“WCDP was assured on several occasions by Department officials that ‘they would not be cut off’. Therefore, it came as a complete shock when on Wednesday 7th October, the Partnership received notice that all LEADER funding would cease on Monday, 31st October.”
He added: “The effect of this move is that the workers who delivered the LEADER programme will not receive their outstanding holiday pay or minimum notice and will only receive statutory redundancy for their time spent delivering the programme.
“This means they will not receive a payment in accordance with the terms of the enhanced redundancy package recommended by the Labour Court in November 2015 for all Local Development Company workers who become unemployed due to changes in LEADER programme funding.
“In effect, this means that workers who have given in total in excess of 100 years’ service to the local community are being treated with absolute contempt by the Department. We are calling on the Minister to ensure that these workers receive the respect they deserve and are treated in accordance with the recommendations of the State’s own industrial relations mechanisms.”