There doesn’t seem to have been much written about the ongoing occupation by Vita Cortex workers in Cork, so I thought I’d repost the Workers Solidarity Movement’s account to try and raise awareness of the fact that they’re still committed to their occupation as pretty much everyone else takes a break over the holiday season:
Workers are continuing their occupation of the Vita Cortex plant in Cork city today. The workers began their sit in on Friday, the day the doors were due to close. The workers are protesting over the non-payment of redundancy monies due. With over 800 years service between them there is an outstanding entitlement to €1.2m in redundancy payments. The reason given for the non-payment is a stand off between the company and NAMA. The money is in accounts of a sister firm frozen by NAMA.
There is widespread support from people in Cork city for the workers, many of whom have over 40 years service. The local media and many politicians have publicly backed the workers and called for resolution in their favour. Despite this, the laws of the state enacted and upheld by these politicians are what favour capital over labour every time.
The monies held by the sister firm along with industrial properties in Cork, Belfast and Dublin are pledged as security against a €10 million loan from AIB taken by Tipperary businessman Jack Ronan to buy the whole operation 5 years ago. This loan has been transfered to NAMA who claim they cannot legally pay the redundancies as other creditors have preference.
This direct action deserving of support of every worker in Cork city and beyond. Where they find themselves now, we could well find ourselves tomorrow. Solidarity is strength.
In other news, the Sparks had a protest in Glasgow at 8am yesterday, and their four months of impressive action will be continuing in the new year with stuff happening in London on the 4th and then all over the country on the 9th. Public sector workers looking for ways to avoid being led to defeat by their union bosses could stand to learn a lot from what the sparks have been doing over the last few months. Finally, a few pieces that’re worth reading: Juan Conatz asks whether reform is possible, two working-class old buggers have made some very good practical suggestions for Occupy London, and prole.info have a new publication called The Housing Monster, which I’ve not read yet cos it’s massively long and I won’t have access to a printer till after Christmas, but based on past form it’s almost certainly going to be excellent.