SIPTU has called on the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) to release funds it controls in order to pay 40 Vita Cortex workers their redundancy entitlements when the company’s Cork plant closes on Friday (16th December).
Vita Cortex, a foam manufacturer, is owned by John Ronan a property developer who owes substantial monies to Allied Irish Bank. The company announced in September that it intended to close the Cork city plant stating that the operation’s assets had been frozen by NAMA.
SIPTU Organiser Anne Egar said; “Under pressure from SIPTU the company arranged a number of meetings with NAMA in an attempt to release sufficient monies to pay the workers their redundancy payments.
“The company had advised us that NAMA had adopted a favourable position with regard to releasing the funds, given the situation workers were facing in the lead up to Christmas. To date, despite assurances that NAMA would give its formal position two weeks ago we have heard nothing concerning the workers redundancy payments.”
She added; “As you can imagine our members are now in a horrendous situation facing Christmas with the prospect of no jobs and no redundancy payments. It is our understanding that NAMA has control over a company bank account with significant cash assets of €2.5 million. The total cost of redundancy payments for the workers would amount to €1.25 million.
“SIPTU is now calling upon NAMA to make its position clear as fruitful contact with the company and its owner has been exhausted.”