Paolo’s insurance costs could mean losing staff driving jobs

Paolo's Pizza staff, local politicians and members of the public pictured at Free Derry Corner at a recent protest calling for a stop to attacks on their vans.

Paolo's Pizza staff, local politicians and members of the public pictured at Free Derry Corner at a recent protest calling for a stop to attacks on their vans.

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Drivers for Paolo’s Pizzas could lose their jobs if there are any further attacks on company vans, business director Paul McShane has told the Derry Journal.

In the last five years seven of the company’s vans have been hijacked and or burned out and a as a result, increases in insurance premiums have cost he home-grown take a whopping £32,000.

It also emerged today that all but one company had refused to insure his vans because they had been deemed such a high risk.

In July this Paul McShane organised a well-attended protest at Free Derry Corner at which he appealed for his business to be left alone.

It had emerged that one of his drivers had been threatened with a gun after initially refusing to hand over his delivery van when stopped by three masked men.

The driver had his 14-year-old daughter with him in the van at the time.

Mr McShane also said that while the Northern Ireland office had paid out compensation for all but one of the vans, the monies from that went straight back to the insurance comapnies,

“So they get the money back for what they have paid out and then increase my premiums as well. I just can’t afford to take any more hits like this. And if any more of the vans are taken I would say that we won’t get any insurance at all and we will have to het rid of the vans.

“Even our own insurance company initially resfused to take us on this year and every single other company that we tried said no way, they said that we were far too high risk.

“Then yesterday the company that we had been with came back.

“We’ve worked very hard to build this business up over the last 25 years and the delivery vans are a big part of the identity pf Paolo’s.

“We’ve always used our own driver because we wanted to give a reliable service which is value for money.

“I’m going to have to put the delivery costs up a little bit now which I don’t want to do but we have to recoup the money somehow, even if its just a little bit of it.

“What these people don’t seem to realise is that there ar e messing with local people’s jobs. There is a real danger that these 10 jobs will have to go.

“We are still planning to delivery for free on Tuesday and Wednesday because we have always done that for our customers. But for the rest of the week we will have to add 25p on to the cost.

“I would just say again to please leave us alone and let us get on with our business .”