Thursday, 11 July 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Richard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
I thank Deputy Barry for raising this as it does give me the opportunity to clarify some of the points. The Deputy is absolutely right that it would be illegal for me to instruct An Post to do anything. That has been provided by this Oireachtas. We consciously decided that the operation of commercial State bodies should not be dictated by political decisions by the Minister. That is correct.
On the substantive issue, as the Deputy knows, a collective agreement was worked out with An Post workers. One element of that was that one of the four mail centres would be closed and that the board of An Post would make that decision in the best interests of its customers, employees and the company. To be fair to the company, it is showing that its diversification and restructuring which it is undertaking is working. It is building new opportunities for workers, securing new investment, indeed for Cork, and aims to provide employment. In terms of dealing with the staff who are unfortunately being displaced, it seeks to support them and offer them redeployment as well as support in terms of a package and retraining.