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Delayed action to protect Waterford Crystal workers – Ó Snodaigh

3 December, 2014 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked Minister Burton why legislation protecting pension entitlements for cases such as Waterford Crystal workers, has been delayed for so long by the government.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh was speaking in the Dáil today on an Amendment to the Social Welfare Bill which would guarantee certain pension entitlements to those affected by double insolvencies between 2007 and 2013, such as the 1700 Waterford Crystal workers, whose company and pension scheme became insolvent in 2009.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“This Amendment follows on from the 2013 Act which introduced a provision to guarantee a portion of pension entitlements in the case of double insolvencies. The amendment before us today empowers the government to pay out money to pension scheme members where the double insolvency arose between the 25th January 2007 and the 25th December 2013.

“I have to ask why did the government delay action for so long resulting now in yet another piece of rushed legislation?During the debate on the 2013 Act I argued that there was a need for some retrospective provisions. Waterford Crystal predated the Act and so was not covered.  You said legally we cannot make any retrospective provision. But here you are now rushing to do just that.

“The Robin Judgement in 2007 made it clear that action was required to protect pension scheme members. But the Fianna Fáil government failed to act for 4 years. And you failed to act for another 4 years.  

“Since 2009 Waterford Crystal workers have been made to go without.  They have been forced to fight.  And several of the workers have actually died while waiting for this government and its predecessor to deliver for them.  

“Some have been left with nothing. It’s not good enough.”

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