Fears of job losses at Quinn despite assurances

DESPITE Government assurances that no jobs will be lost as a result of the Anglo Irish Bank takeover of the Quinn Group, local employees and businesses fear that this is not enough to safeguard their futures.

DESPITE Government assurances that no jobs will be lost as a result of the Anglo Irish Bank takeover of the Quinn Group, local employees and businesses fear that this is not enough to safeguard their futures.

DESPITE Government assurances that no jobs will be lost as a result of the Anglo take over of the Quinn Group, local employees and businesses fear that this is not enough to safe guard their future.

Last Thursday, April 14 it was announced that the Anglo -Irish Bank/ Liberty Mutual proposal are the preferred option for the future of Quinn Insurance and that Anglo Irish Bank has appointed a share receiver to take control of the majority shares held in the group by the Quinn Family. The rushed decision and the swift move in of administrators to the entire Quinn Group has left many unanswered questions about the future of local jobs in the group.

By Fiona Heavey and Leonie McKiernan

Local Quinn Group employees told the Leitrim Observer “this is terrible news, we will be squeezed down to nothing in less than 12 months, our jobs will be gone, the assurances mean nothing.”

It is understood that a number of large scale Irish contracts were withdrawn from Quinn businesses last Friday morning in protest over the Quinn family ousting. The contracts are believed to have hit Quinn glass and building product businesses and have done little to convince employees about long term job security.

Leitrim TD Michael Colreavy said he remains very concerned for the future of jobs in the Quinn Group. He said important questions remain unanswered in relation to the events of last week. He said the priority must be to safe guard local employment. Colrevy added that he would seek the reasons why anyone would regard Anglo Irish - a zombie, non functioning bank as a suitable institution to maximise the protection of Irish taxpayer funds.

Chairman of the Quinn Jobs Action Forum Tommy Moran from Ballinamore said “It is ridiculous to say there will be no job losses.” He said, “I can’t see them keeping many sectors open that are not profitable.”

He said many branches of the Quinn group were kept going by the group, relying on successful sectors “they were kept alive out of loyalty to the employees.”

So called ‘vulture’ bond holders are being blamed for forcing Anglo’s hand on the Quinn Group debt. The Leitrim Observer has learned that bond holders had sold on their bonds at a substantial loss to companies which specialise in acquiring bonds of companies in difficulty. These so called ‘vulture’ bond holders then put pressure on Anglo Irish Bank to redeem the debt outstanding against the Quinn Group resulting in bank taking over the Quinn family share in the business last Thursday.

To read the full story and for a special report examining what exactly has taken place over the past week and reaction to the take over by Anglo Irish Bank by Sean Quinn himself, his supporters and people locally see this week’s Leitrim Observer.