Cork Mail Centre: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Mick Barry on Wednesday, 3 July 2019:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes:
— the decision by An Post to close the Cork mail centre by March 2020 with the loss of 240 jobs;
— the devastating effect this decision will have on the workers concerned and their families; and
— the negative effect this will have on the local economy in the short-, medium-, and long-term;
further notes:
— the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 and National Development Plan targets to make Cork the fastest growing city in Ireland for the next two decades with a 2040 population of 320,000-360,000; and
— the dissonance between such targets and a decision to shut down a mail centre in the heart of this area;
recognises:
— the opportunities presented to An Post by the rapid growth in demand for parcel delivery services; and
— that this increase in demand has already resulted in a 60 per cent growth in demand for An Post parcel delivery services in the last two years; and
calls on the Government to:
— instruct An Post to reverse this decision; and
— instruct An Post to enter negotiations with the workers’ trade union representatives to draw up a plan by 1st January, 2020, to expand An Post’s parcel delivery services without resorting to job losses.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 3:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
“recognises that:
— An Post is a commercial State company with its own Board and a mandate to deliver a postal delivery service, and a viable post office and mails centre network;
— staff in the Cork mail centre have delivered a consistently high level of performance over the years and have given great service to An Post;
— the impact of email and other forms of online communication on mail volumes have presented significant challenges to the existing postal business model, with the Cork mail centre operating at 25 per cent capacity and, in response, the An Post Board has put in place a strategic plan to transform the company in both the mails and retail business;
— An Post needs to reduce its letter processing capacity in line with global industry trends, and switch investment into its eCommerce/parcels network to ensure the future sustainability of the company;
— the closure of a mail centre was considered by the Labour Court in its recommendation of September 2017, which provides that 50 per cent of the savings arising from the closure of a mails processing centre will contribute towards pay awards in An Post; and
— continued transformation of the postal business will be difficult but the new changes will allow An Post to continue to be financially sustainable and in a position to avail of opportunities in the digital/eCommerce environment;
notes that:
— An Post has committed that all staff will be offered strong exit packages, redeployment opportunities within An Post’s delivery and post office networks in the Cork area, further education grants and support in securing jobs with new employers;
— An Post is engaged with the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) to ensure the best possible outcome for affected staff and has indicated that it will continue to work with the CWU in addressing all issues that may arise;
— An Post plans to invest over €15 million in parcels infrastructure across Cork City and the wider region over the next three years and that a major parcel delivery centre for Cork will open by 2022;
— An Post employs over 9,000 staff, continues to have a strong regional focus and will still employ almost 1,000 people in the Cork area;
— the Government has taken significant action to ensure the future viability of An Post and secure the future of the company, and these actions have resulted in a restructuring of the company, expansion of services in the post office network and have protected thousands of jobs in the postal sector across the country;
— a Government investment of €30 million was secured for An Post in order to safeguard the five days a week mail delivery service (€15 million) and to protect post office counter services (€15 million); and
— the Government continues to provide significant business to An Post through the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection social welfare contract and National Treasury Management Agency business; and
commits the Government to:
— ensure that all relevant State supports will be made available to the workers impacted by this announcement; and
— monitor the An Post commitments to invest in the Cork area and the ongoing delivery of its strategic plan.”
- (Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the motion regarding the Cork mail centre. On Wednesday, 3 July 2019, on the question that the amendment to the motion be agreed to, a division was claimed and in accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment again put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 41; Níl, 76; Staon, 0.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Curran, John.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Mick Barry and Paul Murphy.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 1:

To insert the following after “without resorting to job losses.”:

“— accelerate the modernisation of the post office network; and

— expand the number of over-the-counter services provided at the post office.”

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 41; Staon, 0.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Curran, John.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Denise Mitchell; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Amendment declared carried.

I move amendment No. 2:

(a) To insert the following after “the short-, medium-, and long-term;”:

“- of the 240 people working at the Cork mail centre, up to two-thirds are employed on a part-time basis;”; and

(b) To delete all words after “calls on the Government to:” and substitute the following:

“- ensure the immediate publication of the McKinsey report, which advised An Post on the future of its business, in order to transparently establish the supposed grounds for the closure of Cork mail centre;

- stress to An Post the importance of prioritising voluntary severance for permanent staff based in the mail centre and also in other areas of An Post, in order to maximise redeployment opportunities;

- instruct An Post to maintain the current pay and conditions, as well as providing adequate re-skilling, where necessary, of affected workers who are subsequently redeployed within the company;

- ensure that An Post provides enhanced severance terms and addresses any pension implications in the event of compulsory redundancies; and

- recognise the precarious circumstance of those temporary workers employed at Cork mail centre and to demand that An Post provide generous ex-gratia payments to those affected upon release.”

Amendment put and declared lost.
Question put: "That the motion, as amended, be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 73; Níl, 39; Staon, 0.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Curran, John.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Paul Murphy and Mick Barry; Níl, Deputies Seán Kyne and Tony McLoughlin.
Question declared carried.
Sitting suspended at 2.55 p.m. and resumed at 3.35 p.m.