All assistance possible must be available for Novartis Workers - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has responded to news that 320 jobs are to be lost at Novartis in Ringaskiddy, Cork, saying that it is devastating and shocking news for workers and their families.
Speaking from Cork today, Deputy Ó Laoghaire has called on the government and the Department of Social Protection to take all steps possible to save as many jobs as possible, and to ensure Novartis workers have all possible assistance available to them
"Novartis are a major employer in Ringaskiddy, for over two decades, employing 500 people from right across Cork.
"This is devastating news for workers at Novartis, who have played a crucial role in building Novartis in to what it is today; an enormously profitable company, and is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
"I have spoken with workers this morning and they are deeply worried for the future.
"The government need to be proactive here. I note that the Minister for Enterprise is in Shannon today, following job losses there. I hope she will do the same for Cork, and examine whether there are ways to save as many jobs as possible here.
"I hope that workers representatives can obtain the best possible conditions for workers where this is not possible.
"Government Departments need to stand ready, prepared to engage with the workers on the ground and support them. That includes the Department of Social Protection and Department of Entreprise.
"The Minister also needs to immediately begin the process of seeking funding from the European Globalisation Fund to assist workers who are made redundant in seeking new employment. This funding is there for situations like this, it needs to be used.
"This is shocking news, devastating news that will have a massive impact on people, and their lives, future plans potentially scuppered.
"Novartis internationally, are a company that is thriving. New drugs that have been launched recently by them are performing better than expected.
"I hope that Cork workers and their families are not paying the price for the desire of multinational companies to simply increase their profit margins, that would be reprehensible."