Date Released: 28 October 2016
SIPTU has condemned the treatment by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs of workers at the West Cork Development Partnership (WCDP) who have today (Friday, 28th October) lost their jobs without receiving their agreed redundancy entitlements.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Eddie Mullins, said: “The six workers being made redundant today have given a combined total of over 100 years’ service delivering the LEADER programme in West Cork on behalf of the State. They are now losing their jobs without receiving their full legal entitlements from the very government department to which they were answerable for the administration of the programme.
“This is a completely unacceptable way in which to treat workers who have served their community loyally. However, it is unfortunately just another example of how local development workers have been treated by the department across the country.
“WCDP was assured on several occasions by department officials that its funding would not be ‘cut off’ in a manner which left these workers without their entitlements but that is exactly what has happened”.
He added: “The effect of this move is that these workers will not receive their outstanding holiday pay or minimum notice and will only receive statutory redundancy for their time spent delivering the LEADER programme. 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.
“It is gross hypocrisy that government ministers demand union members should adhere to Labour Court decisions when, in this case, the minister, Heather Humphreys, is just ignoring a recommendation of that body. We are calling on the minister and her officials to respect the Labour Court and ensure these workers receive their legal entitlements.”