A FORMER employee of the Clonakilty-based company PGi has said it is ‘despicable’ that she and other former colleagues have not been given their legally entitled statutory redundancy payments since they were laid off in recent months.
The company – which provides video conferencing facilities for large companies and worked out of the Clonakilty Technology Park – has seen its workforce halve over the past year and is now being criticised for not providing the necessary paperwork to the Department of Social Protection to allow these workers claims their statutory redundancy.
It is understood that the company has moved to new premises this week in Skibbereen.
The former employees are now being forced to apply to the WRC (Workplace Relations Commission) to claim their redundancy, which they have been told could take anything up to six months to process.
Speaking to The Southern Star, one former staff member said it’s an awful situation that they have to fight for their entitled statutory redundancy.
‘A lot of the people who were made redundant were long term employees and they are very upset that they are being treated like this, especially coming up to the Christmas season.
‘People were relying on their payments to get them through Christmas too.
‘They are stressed and upset and have no income. We never thought that we’d be in a position that our redundancy – which is a right by law – would be denied to us and now we have to go to the WRC individually.’
She said they only found out by accident that the required paperwork PGi was to submit to the Department of Social Protection hadn’t come through.
‘They didn’t even tell us that themselves and it’s disgraceful carry-on.’
Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan told The Southern Star that he has discussed the matter with the Tánaiste and is working with him to get a resolution, particularly the statutory redundancy scheme element for former employees.
‘Employees were told that an application would be made to the Department of Social Protection for a redundancy scheme but it wasn’t.
‘That’s not good enough and I would urge PGi to engage with the Department of Social Protection in relation to this,’ said Deputy O’Sullivan.
‘There were 200 people employed by PGI in Clonakilty this time last year and now it’s down to 90 and clearly people have been let go by what appears to be by “stealth” and it’s not fair. Existing employees are concerned about their future employment too, and they’re not being communicated with enough in relation to the future of the offices in Clonakilty.’
Deputy O’Sullivan is also urging the company to be upfront and transparent to existing employees about the future of the company.
‘Some are already making contingency plans as they are expecting to lose their jobs and with the run-up to Christmas and to have that uncertainty about your future is really unfair and is no way to treat employees.’
There was no comment available from PGi at the time of going to press.