SIPTU has secured financial supports from the Department of Social Protection for members made redundant after Roadbridge was placed in receivership.

Roadbridge, one of the country's biggest civil engineering and construction firms, announced it was to go into receivership last week.

The company founded in Limerick by the late Pat Mulcair in the 1960's employs 630 people in Ireland, the UK and Sweden, and is involved in some of the biggest infrastructural road, energy and water projects in Ireland the UK and Europe.

SIPTU officials met with the representatives of the accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which is acting as receiver for Roadbridge, on Monday in relation to the sudden termination of its business by the company.

John Regan, Sector Organiser, said, "Following discussions involving the Department of Social Protection, initial payments of job seekers allowance were provided yesterday evening. All such payments are to be processed urgently for our members by the Department which confirmed that they have a team in place to assist with individual queries.

"After further discussions with officials in the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, SIPTU representatives also secured the right of workers to seek new employment while maintaining their redundancy payments made through the state insolvency fund. This is provided on the basis that workers do not terminate their employment with Roadbridge during the 30 day redundancy consultation period which will end on April 14."

SIPTU representatives have also contacted the Construction Workers Pension Scheme concerning the continued protection of the workers' pension, death in service and sick pay allowances.

"We await a response from it on this matter. SIPTU members in Roadbridge are mainly employed in the outdoor construction grades," said SIPTU Organiser, Stephen Lewis. "That these workers, some with more than 30 years' service at the company, have been left dependent on the state insolvency fund to secure their minimum redundancy entitlements, is disgraceful.

"We are calling on the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, to encourage the Receiver to identify other companies which could take over the €700 million in unfinished capital projects on the Roadbridge order books.

"Such a move could save a considerable number of jobs and the associated costs of activating the state insolvency fund to provide for the redundancy payments for the 625 workers who are losing their jobs."