Another Black Friday for Clare Workers

July 5th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen described today as another Black Fridayfor Clare workers. He claims that workers are paying the price for this Governments Economic Incompetence. Deputy Breen added that this was only the tip of the iceberg with more Clare Workers set to join the dole queues over the coming months.

Deputy Breen was reacting to the news that Sykes Enterprises are to shed 83 workers at their Shannon facility and the publication of the latest CSO Live Register Figures which show an extra 469 or 9.3% Clare Workers signing on for the month of June 2008.

“For the past twelve months jobs have been haemorrhaging from County Clare however in spite of numerous warnings this Government have sat idly by while the crisis developed. Unemployment in Clare has grown by 33.3% in the year from June 2007 to June 2008 and especially worrying is the fact that the number of those unemployed under 25 has increased by 46.6% from 759 in June 2007 to 1113 in June 2008.”

“Today we hear reports that another 83 workers at the Shannon-based Sykes Enterprises are to be made redundant over the next three months. This follows on from last week’s announcement that 57 jobs are to be shed by Advocent Ltd. In reality this is only the tip of the iceberg many companies in the Shannon Free Zone and throughout the county are now struggling to cope and more job loss announcements will follow if urgent action is not taken to address Irelands declining competitiveness.”

“The truth is that ordinary workers are bearing the brunt of this Governments economic ineptitude and this is especially true here in County Clare. We are also now witnessing how the lack of connectivity from Shannon to London Heathrow is adding substantial costs to local businesses as a result of the Governments failure to act to secure the service.”

“My call for a regional strategy to address this crisis has fallen on deaf ears. In fact this Government has sleepwalked it’s way through much of this crisis, next week following months of not recognising that there is a crisis the Government will outline to the Dail how they intend to deal with the current crisis”.

“Fine Gael has a road map for “Recovery through Reform” which maps the way out of this recession, namely

– start by cutting Ministerial pay rises and cutting the number of junior ministers;

– stimulate the housing market and construction sector by cutting VAT;

– identify and upskill 500,000 vulnerable workers between now and 2020;

– use funding from the NDP and European Social Fund to fund a massive ‘eco-training’ programme for 10,000 skilled workers laid off from the construction sector for a huge expansion in the Greener and Warmer Homes schemes;

– instigate a total overhaul of FÁS;

– expand training for those activities that still offer good prospects, such as professional services, health-related caring professions, IT, home energy efficiency technologies, and HGV drivers.

“During the Dail debate next week I will be highlighting the jobs crisis here in County Clare and demanding action from Government.”