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Promissory notes

Financial services union calls on Noonan to guarantee IBRC jobs

Last night the Finance minister said he understood most staff would be rehired by the liquidators or by NAMA when it takes on the bank’s assets.

IBOA, THE FINANCE Union, has called on Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to honour the commitments given to workers in IBRC on their terms and conditions of employment.

Following the government’s decision last night to liquidate IBRC, the contracts of employment of around 800 people in the Republic of Ireland are intended to be terminated immediately.

Last night, Minister Noonan said that he understood most staff would be immediately rehired by the liquidators, or by NAMA when it takes on IBRC’s assets. However General Secretary, Larry Broderick said today that as it stands, there is no guarantee as to how many of them will be employed and what the terms and conditions will be.

“This is an appalling situation for these workers – whose livelihoods have been suddenly put at risk by the actions of a government which, only a couple of years ago, gave commitments to the staff of IBRC when agreeing a strategic plan for the wind-down of this institution,” he said.

Our members opted to continue working for IBRC – rather than take redundancy – on the basis of this strategic plan. It would be despicable if the reward for their loyalty and dedication was to be cast aside in such a callous fashion – especially in circumstances where it appears that bond-holders are again being protected.

A transfer of undertakings from one corporate entity to another would normally provide certain protections for workers under EU law. The unions said it intends to seek legal advice as to whether the approach being taken in this case – which amounts to a technical liquidation because its assets are being transferred to NAMA rather than a total liquidation of all IBRC’s assets – contravenes the letter as well as the spirit of that protective legislation.

“However, the government could remedy that injustice by immediately directing the special liquidators to ensure that the earlier commitments given to these workers are honoured in full,” Broderick added.

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