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Ó Snodaigh condemns rotation at the top and redundancy at the bottom of banking sector

14 October, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking in the Dáil today during statements on the banking bail out Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said it is important to differentiate between the senior bank management and ground level bank staff who have been taking flak as a result of the disastrous bail out policy. Deputy Ó Snodaigh also condemned the rotation at the top and redundancy at the bottom of the banking sector.

He went on to say that while many senior bank officials have walked away with Golden Handshakes the consequences of the bailout for ordinary Irish people is further hardships and poverty.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“In all the debate around the disastrous banking bail out and the crimes of bank bosses very little has been said on the situation of ground level workers in the banking industry.

“It is vital to differentiate between senior management and ground level staff in the banking sector. People are angry at the banks. They are angry at the seemingly untouchable fat cats, the Seán FitzPatricks, the Michael Fingletons etc. They are right to be. But some people are directing their anger at the more accessible ground level staff in banks. They are wrong to do so.

“A survey conducted by RTE and the IBOA found that three out of every four bank officials have experienced abuse from the public because they work for a bank. And 40% have experienced this abuse both inside and outside their workplace on a regular basis. Reported experiences include being spat at, being called the scum of the earth and threatened with violence. And being blamed for the tragic suicide of someone who was drowning in debt and called a murderer for this reason.

“While some Banking Chiefs have been dismissed from their positions the fact is that they have walked off into the sunset having received huge sums of money in Golden Handshakes. At the same time many of the people who have replaced them at the top of the banking sector were already part of the cosy elite.

“In the meantime a total of 6,200 blameless employees have been let go up to August this year and a further 4,000 are predicted to be lost over the next twelve months.

“At the same time the consequences for ordinary Irish people of the bank bailout is further hardships and growing poverty levels with more to come in the upcoming budget with Fine Gael and Labour now buying into the Government’s cutbacks policy.” ENDS

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