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Written Answers. - Company Closures.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 159. Mr. Stanton Information on David Stanton Zoom on David Stanton  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney  if the Government gave an undertaking to worker representatives at IFI following a meeting at Cork Airport recently, that interim ex gratia payments would be made to the workers who lost their jobs as a result of the liquidation, with no preconditions or strings attached; her views on the waiver form which employees are now required to sign in order to receive this interim payment; if she will give instructions for this requirement to be withdrawn; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23818/02]

[193]

 169. Mr. Stanton Information on David Stanton Zoom on David Stanton  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney  the reason former employees at IFI are being asked to sign an application form which includes a sentence (details supplied) and other waivers despite the assurance given in Dáil Éireann by her Minister for State (details supplied); if she will withdraw the requirement and allow the ?5,000 to be paid unconditionally; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23601/02]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 169 together.

It would appear that there is considerable misunderstanding on the part of the IFI workers concerning the nature and extent of the waiver which they are being asked to sign in order to obtain payments from the ex gratia fund which is being provided by the two shareholders in the company. In light of this confusion and the concerns which the workers have as a result, the shareholders have agreed to a request from the unions that the workers should be allowed to collect interim payments on the basis of signing a letter which acknowledges receipt of the payments and accepts that a waiver in a form to be agreed will have to be signed in order to get any final payment from the fund. The shareholders have provided the trustee with funds which are sufficient to allow payments of up to €5000 per worker or three months pay if lower. It has also been agreed that there will be further discussions on the wording of the waiver following consultations by unions with their legal advisers.

Any workers for whom the current payment is expected to constitute their full entitlements from the fund may be asked to sign the current form of the waiver but will be entitled to substitute any revised version that may be agreed in due course. I hope all workers will now be in a position to accept the interim payments which have been available from the trustee since Monday, 18 November.


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