Eamon Gilmore TD


Every effort must be made to protect Dun Laoghaire Jobs

Issued : Tuesday 2 March, 2010

The Leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore TD, has called on An Post to do everything it can to ensure that the 260 people currently working in Postbank do not become unemployed as a result of the wind down of the Banks operations.

“The announcement by An Post and BNP Paribas that Postbank will be wound up by the end of this year is extremely disappointing for all concerned but it represents a particularly cruel blow for Postbank’s employees and their families. Postbank operates out of 12 outlets in the Constituency of Dun Laoghaire and employs 130 people in its Head Office in Dun Laoghaire meaning its impending closure has particularly grave implications for employment in the area.

 “While I welcome indications from Postbank and An Post that their plans in development to secure a significant proportion of the 260 Postbank jobs, there can be no room for complacency. I would urge all parties to leave no stone unturned when working to ensure that the jobs are protected.

“On hearing of the decision to close Postbank, the Minister for Finance is reported to have said; “We can’t have a limitless number of banks in Ireland”. That may be so but we can’t have limitless number of people out of work either. On too many occasions now the Government have let jobs that could have been saved slip through its fingers due to an unforgivable mix of incompetence and apathy. The workers of Postbank need to know that efforts on their behalf will amount to more than workers in Dell, Waterford Glass, SR Technics, the list unfortunately goes on and on, were afforded by the Government.”

The Labour Leader also drew attention to the difficulties faced by bookseller chain Hughes Hughes. 

“On the same day we learned that the Postbank venture was to be wound up the bad news that the Hughes and Hughes chain was to go under receivership was announced. A branch of the book company is based in Dun Laoghaire town centre and my thoughts go out to all those working there and for the company throughout Ireland who must be very concerned at the prospect of losing their jobs. 

“As I understand it one of the primary reasons for Hughes and Hughes difficulties is a reluctance of Landlords to reduce the cost of their rent. Excessive rents throughout the Country are making it virtually impossible for businesses to survive in what is already an extremely difficult retail environment. That the staff at Hughes and Hughes may lose their jobs is bad enough that it could have been avoided if there was more give and take by the Landlords is inexcusable. 

“The need for a ban on upward only rent reviews, which may have eased the demand on Hughes and Hughes, is something that the Labour Party has raised repeatedly in recent months. Reputable companies like Hughes and Hughes should not be forced out of business due to excessive rent when there is scope for legislative intervention, if only the will was there.”