Thomas Cook workers punished while white collar crime continues to be rewarded
August 4, 2009
Speaking today as workers employed by Thomas Cook were arrested for standing up for their rights Dublin Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the distorted priorities of the Irish judiciary and the Garda Siochana speak volumes for how this country has gotten into such deep recession.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“Where was the judiciary when the Irish banks were shamelessly engaged in reckless lending practises, when loans were hidden, when creative accountancy hid the real state of the Irish financial sector from the taxpayer who is set to pick up the tab?
“White collar crime goes unpunished in this State; in fact it goes rewarded as we have seen with the release of the NAMA legislation last week, yet ordinary workers are being held to account in front of a High court Judge for trying to secure a fair and equitable redundancy deal for themselves.
“When more than 150 officers from Pearse Street Garda station broke down the door of the Thomas Cook premises on Grafton Street after 5am this morning, the failings of the Irish justice system could not have been any more obvious. Mr Justice Peart ordered their arrest when they failed to vacate the premises following a court order issued on Saturday. What crime did they commit? What injustice did these ordinary people bring upon the Irish state? Did they engage in reckless lending practises, using bank deposits to play in a global banking casino? No, these ordinary workers were standing up for their rights; their right to a decent redundancy package of 8 weeks per each year of service.
“The distorted priorities of the Irish judiciary and the Garda Siochana speak volumes for how this country has gotten into such deep recession; punish the ordinary worker to please the profiteers. Actions speak louder than words and the sight of a pregnant worker being led to a Garda van, after having tried to secure a sufficient remuneration for herself gives us an indication of the actions that ail our country.
“Despite the banking sectors legacy of reckless lending that has driven us into a recession, not a single government Minister or banking executive has been held to account. Yet we arrest a pregnant woman for defending her rights.” ENDS