Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan will, once again, raise in the Seanad the continued failure of the Rehab Group to honour an agreement on redundancy payments to 38 vulnerable workers in Limerick.
The workers concerned were made redundant in April of last year and have been engaged in struggle through their union SIPTU since then to secure the redundancy in line with a collective agreement that has been in place for over 30 years.
Last month, the Labour Court upheld SIPTU’s claim that Rehab can afford to pay up.
Ahead of raising the matter at Order of Business, the Limerick-based Senator has said:
“It is completely unacceptable that a company in receipt of substantial state funds would ignore a Labour Court recommendation. Their treatment of workers goes against the very ethos of what Rehab is about.
“Earlier this month, SIPTU won a significant victory at the Labour Court. After the third and final round of hearings, it determined that it could ‘find no clear and undisputed basis not to uphold the existing collective agreement and consequently recommends that it be respected’.
“Many of these workers include people with visual impairments, learning difficulties, and Down Syndrome. They lost their jobs in the middle of a pandemic. Some of these workers had given decades of service.
“A financial analysis of the Rehab Group, carried out earlier this year after an earlier Labour Court recommendation showed the Group has over €20 million cash/cash equivalents, as well as €54 million in assets and can well afford to honour this agreement.
“The same analysis also highlighted expenditure of €813,000 in packages paid to senior management in 2018 and 2019, as well as another significant but unspecified amount paid in 2020.”