Staff at a petrol station in Cork city which was closed suddenly have begun a sit-in tonight.
Six workers at the Texoil/Texaco branded filling station in Ballyvolane, which was operated by Highway Retail, have refused to leave the premises until the company pays them what they say are outstanding wages from last week, as well as sick pay and holiday pay entitlements.
One of the six has worked at the filling station for 24 years. Another woman has nine years of service at the station.
Staff spokesman, Danny Falvey, said they are prepared for a lengthy sit-in.
"We're not leaving until we get what we are owed. It's a shame that it's come to this, but that's the way it is. That's the way it seems to have gone in recent years. And we're not leaving," he said.
The filling station, on the city's northern ring road, was taken over by Highway Retail last January.
But staff said they have been concerned for the future of the business for some time.
They said the company told them some weeks ago that unless it could negotiate a rent reduction, it would have to surrender the lease.
The staff also said they were told by the company that they would be briefed on any developments.
However, two company executives arrived at the outlet yesterday and to the shock of staff, began shutting up shop.
They removed tills, computers, CCTV cameras and other technical equipment before some of the staff members on duty asked for certain documents which were not forthcoming. It was then they decided to mount a sit-in.
Gardai visited the forecourt shop earlier this evening and spoke to the staff engaged in the sit-in, before they left a short time later.
The staff then began bedding down inside the fulling stocked petrol station's shop area for the night.
"All we want is what we're entitled to," Danny said.