Online campaign to save Quinn jobs spurs 10,000 to join rally
Published 06/04/2010 | 05:00
THOUSANDS of Quinn employees will take to the streets today in protest at the decision to put the company into administration.
Up to 10,000 employees and their families are expected to descend on the streets of Dublin and Cavan today to voice their disapproval over the decision.
The staff were spurred to action by the 'Save Quinn Insurance' Facebook site. The site now has almost 10,000 members, while almost 2,000 people have signed an online "Save Quinn Jobs" petition.
Last week the High Court granted a request from the Financial Regulator to appoint administrators to take charge of the group.
The regulator claimed Quinn Insurance failed to disclose crucial information about the state of its finances until last week -- a claim denied by the Quinn Group's chairman, Sean Quinn.
The decision to place administrators at the helm of Quinn Insurance left the 5,500 employees of the group fearing for their futures. Mr Quinn is not expected to appear at today's rally, nor are any of Quinn's senior management.
"This is entirely something the staff are doing," said a source close to the company.
Those talks continued by phone throughout the weekend and are expected to intensify over the coming days as the Quinn Group lenders fight to recover some of the €1.2bn they've advanced to the conglomerate.
Some of these lenders are understood to be preparing to request a meeting with the regulator to assess options to keep Quinn Insurance out of administration.
No request had been received by the regulator last night. It is understood that while the regulator is "open" to meeting with the bondholders, his position has not changed in relation to the need for Quinn Insurance to be placed into indefinite administration.
John Fitzpatrick, who has helped organise the protest in Cavan, said the uncertainty over the company's position had left hundreds of people worried about their next pay cheque.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: "We are not interested in the politics of this. All we want is to get our salaries and pay our mortgages, and pay our bills every month. We're not interested in what the Government wants with Mr Quinn.
"The workers are worried about their jobs.
"And we are angry with the Government for not doing enough to support these jobs."
Mr Fitzpatrick said protesters were also frustrated at the Government.
"We can't understand why our Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe has gone over to America to try and drum up support to bring back jobs to Ireland.
"We can't understand why they are willing to pay out huge sums of money to these companies to come to Ireland to invest money while at the same time the Irish Government lets jobs here disappear down the drain and does nothing to help us."