Staff At Galway Airport Must Receive Redundancy Payments

Fine Gael Senator for Galway West, Fidelma Healy Eames, is today urging officials of Galway Airport and the Department of Transport to come to a resolution and assure staff at the Airport that they will receive their redundancy payments as agreed, despite Bank of Ireland withdrawing funds from the Airport’s bank account.

"This morning I visited the remaining staff at Galway Airport who began a sit-in last night in attempts to guarantee the payment of their redundancy packages when their contracts cease on February 19th. The airport is destitute. For a place that was once a hive of activity it is a sorry sight. We know the airport was struggling but the ruthless action by Bank of Ireland against the airport, is now worsened by doubts about workers’ redundancy payments. Fears that they would not receive their statutory payments grew yesterday as the company which operates the Airport failed to guarantee that funds would be available for the payments.

"I understand that Galway Airport must meet corporate governance rules, but I would ask that they expedite a resolution as early as possible to bring closure for the fourteen workers. These workers remained on in good faith to work out their three months’ notice in the hope that Galway Airport would be maintained as a going concern.

"Funding was initially earmarked to pay the remaining 14 staff, but some of this money has since been removed from the company’s deposit account by Bank of Ireland to offset loans. Staff decided to stage the sit-in when their employers advised they were not in a position to guarantee that the redundancies would be paid on or before February 19th.

"When news of the Bank of Ireland move emerged over the weekend, the workers asked for the payments to be brought forward. Of the €1.6 million the Airport had in its account, €1.1 million was transferred to offset against its term loans, leaving €500,000 to cover redundancy payments as well as ongoing operations.

"This situation must be resolved as a matter of urgency. The workers are only asking for their statutory redundancy, and will receive nothing extra for their years of service. Other serious issues remain to be addressed by Bank of Ireland and its unprecedented action against Galway Airport."


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