Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Willie O’Dea has expressed shock at the scale of the job losses confirmed this morning at Aviva Insurance in Dublin, Cork and Galway.  Deputy O’Dea described the 950 redundancies over two years as “extremely significant and very worrying”.

“The meetings held with anxious staff this morning arose from a well leaked process started with a ‘company review’ in September of Aviva’s operations in Cork, Dublin and Galway.

“The impact of job losses on this scale is significant and very stressful for many families involved.  There is also genuine concern arising from this announcement about the insurance sector generally.  We need to know if the Minister for Jobs has sought to meet the chief executives of the other major insurance companies.  Has the Government and the State agencies engaged in a co-ordinated way with the insurance sector and industry representatives?

“I welcome the news that Aviva is to expand its health insurance division, creating 100 jobs.  However Aviva has effectively halved its footprint in Ireland.  This should be sounding alarm bells in Government.  We cannot have a situation where significant job losses arise at another insurance company in a matter of months and the Government is not prepared.  A process of intensive engagement with the insurance sector and the major players in it is required now.

“The workers at Aviva have been treated very badly by the company by this drip feed of information.  They have been left with great uncertainty and now fear for their futures.  I am raising this issue in the Dáil today but I am also calling on the Government to make time available in the Dáil next week for a full debate on this issue and the wider concerns about the insurance industry.”