Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boycott Thomas Cook Now!

Members of Sinn Féin in Balbriggan protested today at the Four Courts in Dublin at the disgraceful treatment of Thomas Cook workers. At 5.30 am this morning over 100 members of the Gardaí smashed their way into the Thomas Cook offices in Dublin and arrested over 20 members of staff. These offices had been occupied by the workers because the management of the company had arrived from England on 31st July and told the staff they were closing the store as soon as staff had left the building.

Understandably staff took the action to occupy the building as there had not been full negotiations on redundancy and neither was a reasonable period of notice given to the staff.

Fergus Byrne, Sinn Féin representative in Balbriggan, said that, "The treatment of the staff at Thomas Cook has been a disgrace. The company made over 400 million euro profit last year and the Managing Director received a 5 million euro bonus. Yet look how they treat their employees. Sinn Féin stands 100% behind the Thomas Cook employees and advises everybody to boycott Thomas Cook until such time as they show some respect for their Irish workforce."

Speaking today as workers employed by Thomas Cook were arrested for standing up for their rights Dublin Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the distorted priorities of the Irish judiciary and the Garda Siochana speak volumes for how this country has gotten into such deep recession.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said: “Where was the judiciary when the Irish banks were shamelessly engaged in reckless lending practises, when loans were hidden, when creative accountancy hid the real state of the Irish financial sector from the taxpayer who is set to pick up the tab?
“White collar crime goes unpunished in this State; in fact it goes rewarded as we have seen with the release of the NAMA legislation last week, yet ordinary workers are being held to account in front of a High court Judge for trying to secure a fair and equitable redundancy deal for themselves.

“When more than 150 officers from Pearse Street Garda station broke down the door of the Thomas Cook premises on Grafton Street after 5am this morning, the failings of the Irish justice system could not have been any more obvious. Mr Justice Peart ordered their arrest when they failed to vacate the premises following a court order issued on Saturday. What crime did they commit? What injustice did these ordinary people bring upon the Irish state? Did they engage in reckless lending practises, using bank deposits to play in a global banking casino? No, these ordinary workers were standing up for their rights; their right to a decent redundancy package of 8 weeks per each year of service.

“The distorted priorities of the Irish judiciary and the Garda Siochana speak volumes for how this country has gotten into such deep recession; punish the ordinary worker to please the profiteers. Actions speak louder than words and the sight of a pregnant worker being led to a Garda van, after having tried to secure a sufficient remuneration for herself gives us an indication of the actions that ail our country.

“Despite the banking sectors legacy of reckless lending that has driven us into a recession, not a single government Minister or banking executive has been held to account. Yet we arrest a pregnant woman for defending her rights.”

1 comment:

  1. well done on coming all the way into Dublin to show your support for the workers.