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McDonald questions government on Ulster Bank job losses

12 January, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD questioned the Minister for Education and Skills on what action the Government had taken on behalf of workers in advance of Ulster Bank announcing 950 job losses across the State.

Deputy McDonald asked the Minister:

“When did the government first have notice of these job losses, which are very significant in number? At this juncture is the government satisfied that the terms and conditions of the redundancy packages are secure?

“The Minister for Education and Skills has indicated that the priority for his administration is jobs but all the evidence speaks against this. There are stubbornly high levels of people out of work and there has been minimal investment by the government in respect of job creation and protection. We have been told that this month we will see some type of jobs plan from the government.

“Fine Gael and Labour have been in government for nearly a year yet unemployment has continued to soar under their watch. Where will these workers and workers from the banking sector feature in that scheme of things? If the experience of the construction sector is anything to go by, where vast numbers of workers find their sector a job-free zone, then those in the banking sector who are about to lose their jobs must be looking on in despair.

“What confidence can the Minister give to Ulster Bank workers today? What contact has there been with Government and what does the Minister propose to do in the first instance for this set of workers and then more broadly for the 500,000 people who are without work?” ENDS

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