Sunday, 23 August 2009

Hardies shareholders back move to Ireland

Last June, Gombeen Nation featured the news that Hardies, the Australian building materials company that is facing a raft of claims in its own country due to its liberal use of asbestos in its products, intended setting up in Ireland. The company is currently contributing to a fund helping multiple victims who contracted Asbestos-related illnesses – including cancer - in its employment.

Hardies had a major shareholders’ meeting recently, at which they received over 99% approval for the planned relocation of a substantial part of its operation here, to avail of corporate tax breaks.

According to a source in Australia, who is following the Hardies' case with interest, it seems that the planned move to Ireland will cost in the region of €60 million... which means that the company “will be unable to honour its commitment to fund the Asbestos-related disease fund as fully as it should”. That, I should imagine, constitutes a further kick in the face for former employees who are sick or terminally ill as a result of working for the company.

What’s more, it seems that the same company was somewhat reticent about its use of asbestos in materials used to manufacture driveways in Oz… and the costs that will now be involved in replacing these with safer materials.

Many of the companies’ directors have been banned from holding directorships for varying periods, including ex MD Peter Mac Donald (pic above), who won't grace an Australian boardroom for at least another 15 years.

Might there be a welcome for him in the parlour of Irish corporate life in some capacity, where standards are obligingly low?

P.S. - Thanks to Pony Boy for the story.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page


Anonymous said...

I'm sure Biffo and Co will make them very welcome.

bigphathar said...

They'll fit right in here: How many workers died building Liam Carroll et al's crappy shoe-box apartments? And now Richie Burrows, former head of BOI is peddling cancer sticks as CEO of British American Tobacco...

The Gombeen Man said...

Yep... they'll fit in perfectly, Howard. BP, you know, now you say it... I don't think old Zoe's safety record was too good.