NAMA hit as axed workers get no pay-off
Published 16/12/2011 | 05:00
Staff at the Vita Cortex plant in Cork who are to lose their jobs nine days before Christmas. Daragh McSweeney
NAMA was slated last night by 40 workers who will lose their jobs today for a Scrooge-like stance that has left them facing Christmas without redundancy payments.
A total of 40 Vita Cortex workers in Cork will be axed today -- three of whom boast a combined 100 years' service with the company that made foam and fibre fillings for furniture and seating products.
They were told last night that they would not receive redundancy payments before Christmas, despite their hopes of a compromise.
Worker Cal O'Leary said they were "absolutely devastated" that after marathon negotiations the staff would be left without their redundancy payments eight days before Christmas.
"It is terrible -- it is a nightmare for everyone. It is heartbreaking that this kind of thing could happen just before Christmas," he said.
The workers at the Kinsale Road plant will be laid off because the firm's assets were frozen on the orders of the National Asset Management Agency.
That arose because the firm's owner secured a €10m loan from AIB for its purchase -- with the plant used as a collateral guarantee.
NAMA then became involved and ordered that the firm's assets be frozen pending a resolution to the outstanding loan issue. However, because of the NAMA order, redundancy payments have not been made to the 40 workers.
Meanwhile, up to 100 jobs at shoe chain Barratts are at stake after the company went into administration for the second time in two years.
Last night, Mandate trade union said it was in touch with administrators Deloitte, with the hopes that the jobs in more than a dozen shops in the Republic could be saved.
However, speaking to the Irish Independent last night, the union's assistant general secretary, Gerry Light, said the future of the chain did not look good after the company went into administration in 2009 and closed about seven shops here.