IBRC workers move closer to industrial action

Issued : 21 March 2014

Lower-paid workers in IBRC have told their union that they are prepared to consider industrial action in an effort to secure a recommendation on their severance compensation from key mediator, Kieran Mulvey.

The workers - many of whom earn less than €30,000 a year – are set to lose their jobs shortly as the liquidated State company winds down further with the disposal of more loans.

In a consultative ballot, IBOA members in the company have given the Union a mandate to continue its campaign for fair compensation which will include industrial action, if the issue is not resolved promptly.

“IBRC staff are dismayed that mediation efforts by Chief Executive of the Labour Relations Commission, which have been continuing since last October have so far failed to receive sufficient support to arrive at a satisfactory resolution,” said IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick.

“The employees’ previous redundancy terms which had been signed off by the Department of Finance at the end of 2011 were withdrawn in an instant when IBRC was liquidated in an all-night sitting of the Oireachtas in February 2013 as part of the Government’s strategy to address the promissory notes issue. A consequence of this measure was that the workers were offered only the legal minimum entitlements – worth less than half of the agreed terms.

“Even though a concerted lobbying campaign has garnered widespread cross-party support from Oireachtas members alarmed at the unintended consequences of the emergency legislation, a year has now passed without a resolution.

"Considering the enormous sums of money involved in working out the IBRC loan book and in view of the very substantial fees being paid to the army of accountants, lawyers and consultants involved in the liquidation of the company, it is totally unacceptable that the current impasse cannot be broken to provide modest compensation for this group of low-paid workers who have performed vital work for the State in ensuring that the assets to be sold by the liquidator have been maintained,” said the IBOA leader.

"As the wind-down of IBRC continues with more workers close to departure, our members are bracing themselves for one final effort to secure justice involving the withdrawal of co-operation with the disposal of any more IBRC loans. IBOA has advised all prospective buyers of IBRC loans that this action is now under active consideration.

"Kieran Mulvey should be given a renewed mandate by the Government to bring this matter to a fair and honourable conclusion,” said Mr. Broderick. "Unless a breakthrough is imminent within days, we will have no alternative but to pursue industrial action. I urge the Minister of Finance to intervene to support Mr. Mulvey's effort to achieve a final settlement which would be broadly in line with the original commitment given by the Department of Finance before the liquidation of IBRC by the Oireachtas.”