I am sure the Taoiseach will agree this is a very difficult and shattering morning for employees in Aviva, given that the company has confirmed that there will be up to 950 job losses. This is a devastating blow to workers, their families, the surrounding communities and the economy in general. It will be felt particularly by those working in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
Last September Aviva confirmed a company review in which job losses of this magnitude were flagged. At the time the Taoiseach stated he was "concerned" about the uncertainty caused by the announcements made at that stage and the comments in the media, which caused great anxiety for those who worked in Aviva. He added that the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Richard Bruton, and representatives of the IDA would be in direct contact with the company. Yesterday, the Minister stated he had been briefed by the company last week on some of the issues involved. He also indicated that they had discussed opportunities which the IDA had identified in respect of the company's long-term plans and that the final details would be discussed with the company's workforce. I understand that is happening.
There is a big difference, however, between being briefed and engaging with a company. What issues were discussed between the Minister and personnel from Aviva? Were measures taken to address areas of concern in Aviva to prevent the extensive job losses which have now been confirmed? Since the flagging of job losses in September, has the Taoiseach met or been in direct contact with Aviva headquarters to try to avert these extensive job losses or deal with these issues with the company? Specifically, has he met the chief executive officer of Aviva Europe, Mr. Igal Mayer, who I understand is in Dublin this morning?