Save the jobs at Quinn Group

Bring Quinn Group into public ownership under democratic workers’ control Press Statement: Joe Higgins MEP (Socialist Party) “The thousands of jobs under threat at the Quinn Group must be saved. The Quinn Group employs 6,000 people in Ireland, North and South, and is located in an area which has suffered from long-term underinvestment. The company’s impact extends far beyond these numbers through secondary spending in the region. There is no doubt that the group represents a critical source of employment for many more thousands in Cavan and Fermanagh and further afield.

“However, it is clear that Sean Quinn cannot be trusted with these jobs. The catastrophic losses suffered by Quinn follow its cavalier attempt to buy Anglo-Irish Bank and what the Regulator describes as management malpractice. Quinn is no victim in this, having pocketed a personal fortune over the years.

“It is clear that Anglo Irish Bank’s proposal will see them dispose of Quinn Insurance soon after they buy it. On the other hand, it is likely that if the Financial Regulator gets his way and installs administrators to the group that it would probably also be sold off. Either option would likely result in large scale job losses.

“The only way to safeguard all of the jobs is for the Quinn Group as a whole to be nationalised. This Group must be brought into public ownership under the democratic control and management of the workers concerned and representatives of customers and the elected government.

“This would offer a real opportunity for the state to develop a more productive economy, with the group’s activities extending from quarrying, to cement production, to glass production to plastics. In addition, the nationalisation of the insurance wing would offer a mechanism to guarantee the provision of low cost insurance for households, small businesses and farmers, who currently face being fleeced by profiteers.”

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