PBPA TD joins Lufthansa Technik Airmotive workers at Dail to call for Government action to save engine maintenance and overhaul industry from extinction
Government cannot stand idly by while 400 skilled jobs and vital skills goes to the wall
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance has urged the government not to “stand idly by” in the face of the imminent closure of Lufthansa Technik airmotive plant in Rathcoole and consequent loss of 411 highly skilled jobs.
Deputy Boyd Barrett, joined workers from Luthansa Technik at a demonstration outside Dail Eireann, where workers handed in a letter to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Employment – appealing for government intervention to maintain the jobs and associated skills base in jet aircraft engine overhaul and maintenance.
Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed particularly to a major contradiction between government inaction on the Lufthansa closure and recent highly trumpeted announcements in the government’s Manufacturing Strategy and Action Plan for Jobs documents, where commitments were made “to the retention and expansion of skilled manufacturing jobs” and a target of 20,000 new jobs in the sector by 2016 was set.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “The government cannot stand idly by while more than 400 highly skilled workers lose their jobs and with it our economy stands to lose a vitally important skills base and a strategic industry. If the government can find billions to bail-out insolvent casino banks – surely they can find money to save a profitable plant and these important jobs and skills in a growing industry.
Workers to hand in letter of appeal to Minister urging intervention to save skilled jobs and strategic industry
Workers at Lufthansa Tecknik Airmotive based in Rathcoole in Dublin will demonstrate at the Dáil tomorrow 30th January at 9.30am and will hand in a letter to the Minister for Jobs, appealing to him to intervene to save skilled jobs and a strategic industry as outlined in the government’s own Manufacturing Strategy which sets out an ambitious target of creating an additional 20,000 jobs in the sector by 2016.
The German company announced in December it would close the plant with a loss of 411 jobs. One hundred workers are due to lose their jobs on Friday with the majority of the jobs due to go on 14th February in what is being described by workers as a Valentine’s day massacre.
The workers believe this closure is a strategic closure as the company is profit making and the engines they work on have the highest annual production rate in history, a rate that is predicted to continue until the end of the decade.
The workers will deliver a letter appealing to the Government in conjunction with the IDA / Enterprise Ireland to step in and protect the viability of the Rathcoole plant as an engine overhaul facility.
The workers also believe it is of the upmost importance that this plant is not asset stripped so any future investor will be in position to commence operations with the minimum of inconvenience.
This action comes on foot of a parliamentary question submitted by People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett last week on behalf of the workers. During the debate in the Dáil Deputy Boyd Barrett asked the Minister if he would meet with the workers but the Minister would not give a commitment to do so.
Suggestions of pay increases and bonuses for bank executives a disgrace said People before Profit TD
Pillar banks bailed out by the public should remain in public control with strict pay-caps
In a statement this afternoon Richard Boyd Barrett TD criticised attempts by AIB to change cap on executive pay.
The People Before Profit TD said the idea that executives in AIB, a bank that got a bail-out of €21 billion, with an existing pay cap of half a million and executives on six figure salaries are now looking for more money is shocking.
Richard Boyd Barrett said, “Ordinary citizens paid for this institution in a bail-out that has beggared the country so it is utterly shocking that this bank would look now for more money from the state for executives that are already on enormous salaries.”
“It is even more shocking that now that AIB is moving back to profitability it is going to be sold off to private investors. This means that even though ordinary citizens have born all of the costs with no benefit, the benefits now that the bank is moving to profitability will go to private investors.
It is unacceptable that after the entire crisis that AIB would not be kept in public ownership so it can be subject to on-going regulation to ensure transparency.
It is an utter scandal that these banks would be let off the leash again out of public control after the damage and economic mayhem they have caused. We should be able to dictate their policies and general treatment of customers and oversee their central positio0n in the overall welfare of the economy”.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance quizzes John Tierney of Irish Water during Meeting of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Tuesday, 14 January 2014.
People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett on foot of representations from parents and teachers submitted a parliamentary question asking for reassurances from Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, that there will be no cuts to the visiting teacher service for children with hearing and/or visual impairment (VTHVI).
Richard Boyd Barrett TD called on the Minister for Education to heed the calls of parents of children with special needs and their teachers to maintain the visiting teacher service which has been put under review by the government. Currently there are 43 posts nationally in the VTHVI service catering for over 2000 children (29 for deaf/hard of hearing, 14 for blind/visually impaired).
Deputy Boyd Barrett was contacted by parents and teachers concerned about the possible impact of the review the VTHVI and is supporting the campaign. He submitted the parliamentary question last week seeking details of possible adverse effects on the visiting teacher service arising from the review.
Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that children with sensory deprivation already suffer discrimination with a far lower percentage of those children advancing to third level Education than their counterparts.
Richard Boyd Barrett said, “I’m really appealing to the Minister to leave this service alone. These children should not suffer any further discrimination within teh Education system that will affect them for their whole lives”
“Children with sensory disabilities are just as intellectually capable as any other child but need extra resources and supports to fulfill their potential. The Visiting Teacher service is a success story in that it provides the support needed and it must not be touched as part of this review. I welcome any reassurances the Minister can give on this issue”.
In the Dáil this morning, Richard Boyd Barrett TD appealed to the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton to intervene to protect the jobs and associated skills of Lufthansa workers as he believes this is a strategically important industry with considerable growth potential.
The Rathcoole based airmotive plant has been owned by Lufthansa since it bought the plant from Aer Lingus and it is due to close with the loss of over 400 jobs in February.
The Government has indicated that the aircraft industry is a priority area as parts of their commitment on jobs, a point re-stated by the Minister in the dáil this morning. Given this stated commitment to jobs in this industry it makes no sense to allow this skills base to be lost and the plant to be dismantled.
There are also serious questions regarding the amount of IDA funds and other public money received by Lufthansa and the conditions attached to those moneys and these questions need to be answered.
€40 million in public money was injected into Lufthansa when they took over the Rathcoole plant in 2009 and the workforce had the understanding that this money was conditional on a long-term commitment to the plant in Rathcoole and the industry in Ireland.
The workers believe Lufthansa’s closure of the plant at this time represents a breach of the conditions surrounding the government’s cash injection and that this money should be retrieved and the jobs kept.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD tonight raised the imprisonment of anti-war activist and artist Margaretta D’Arcy in the Dail during topical issues debate.
Margaretta D’Arcy is serving a three-month sentence in Limerick prison for attempting to stop the violation of Ireland’s neutrality by the use of Shannon airport by US military warplanes. A longtime campaigner against the use of Shannon by the US and in particular against the use of Shannon in rendition flights, Margaretta has refused to sign a bond not to go to unauthorised parts of Shannon airport.
Margaretta D’Arcy and Niall Farrell of the Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW) are due to appear in Ennis district court tomorrow to set a date for their second trial for protesting on the runway at Shannon airport in September 2013.
Deputy Boyd Barrett demands the immediate release of Margaretta and will also be supporting and attending a protest at 1pm at the dáil tomorrow.
Richard Boyd Barrett said, “The imprisonment of Margaretta D’Arcy is utterly despicable and vindictive treatment of an elderly and sick woman who acted courageously out of conscience against the use of Shannon Airport in facilitating the CIA’s illegal kidnap and torture programme, so-called rendition”.
“Margaretta’s incarceration and campaign highlights the ongoing facilitation of war and torture at Shannon airport. It is disgraceful that despite all the information and evidence that has accumulated, including infomation released by wikileaks, that the Irish government continues to foster relations with regimes involved in war, human rights violations and aggressive militarism”.
SUSI issued a statement last night indicating that cuts to the grant to students on dental nursing and dental hygiene courses in Trinity College and UCC would be reeversed, following representation by USI and People Before Profit Alliance.
Last week a ‘small’ event happened, which was barely reported in the mainstream media.
SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) withdrew a grant to 39 students on dental nursing and dental hygiene courses in Trinity College. It caused enormous distress to the students and their families.
The circumstances surrounding it are most bizarre.
On September 30th2013, the students received a letter to congratulate them for being rewarded the grant for these courses. On that basis and with many hopes in their hearts, these young people embarked on a course of study.
Then, suddenly, on January 14th 2014 they received a letter informing them that they did not in fact qualify for the very grant they had been receiving. The claimed rationale was that their course – a FETAC Level 7 course – did not lead to a‘major award’.