By People Before Profit Waterford
Press Release: 2nd May 2015
The backslapping and congratulations by Richard Bruton and Paudie Coffey regarding the announcement of 120 new jobs and huge investment by the IDA into building an extension cannot hide the fact that both the workers and the state are being ripped off.
Last summer Valiant made 200 workers redundant and slashed the remaining workers wages by 20%.
There is another narrative to the P.R. spin from the minister and Paudie Coffey. In truth what Valiant did amounts to a ‘double mugging’ of the Bausch & Lomb staff and Irish taxpayers.
Valiant are a venture capitalist outfit who take over profitable companies sweat the assets by sacking workers and cutting wages. The remaining employees are then forced to increase production and implement big changes to work practices and rosters. These changes effectively pay for the money spent on acquiring the asset. This is what is happening now at the former B&L company except now the state gives millions of taxpayers money to Valiant to further increase the exploitation. Like most venture capitalists Valiant are likely to cut and run as Talk Talk did once the tax incentives dry up.
The new employees are expected to work for even less than the present employee’s. The Government calls this type of working arrangement ‘regaining competitiveness’.
In reality this is part of the ‘Race to the bottom’ and if not resisted Irish workers will find themselves in the same position as American workers as described by Pulitzer Prize winner David Shipler in his book The Working Poor. “Nobody who works hard should be poor in America,” “There are 35 million people in the country living in poverty. Most of the adults in that group work nowadays; many of them work full time.”
The unemployed will be obligated to take these low paid jobs and even welcome the opportunity for employment but will find it hard to maintain a decent standard of living.
People Before Profit are for decent jobs and wages for all and we encourage all workers to resist the race to the bottom.