THE OWNER of the former Vita Cortex manufacturing plant in Cork has said he cannot move money between his various businesses in order to pay the statutory redundancy due to its former staff.
Through a spokesperson, Jack Ronan said he was not in a position to “move money” between his companies, after newspapers published details of his other business interests – including major industrial and residential properties in counties Cork and Tipperary.
Ronan owns 100 per cent of Vita Five Five Ltd, the ultimate parent company, and is also a director of Web Circle Ltd, an investment holding company, of which he owns 50 per cent.
The most recent accounts filed by Vita Cortex (Ind) Ltd – a child company of Vita Five Five Ltd, and which employed the staff being laid off – show that company to be owed €712,370 from Web Circle Ltd as of April 2010.
This evening SIPTU said Ronan’s claim was “incredible”, and called on him to explain how the company was unable to meet the cost of redundancy payments to its 32 staff.
“It is simply incredible that a person with such extensive assets in Ireland cannot find a way to secure the redundancy payments owed to his long serving workforce some of whom have been with the company for forty years,” sector organiser Anne Egar said.
This afternoon jobs minister Richard Bruton said the company had made a formal application to the government stating its inability to pay the statutory redundancy payments by itself.
The 32 staff have been occupying the company’s premises since December 16, when the management closed the plant. Each member of staff has an average of 26 years’ experience with the foam manufacturer.