Staff at Irish Debenhams stores to hold protests

The company announced earlier this month to liquidate its Irish stores, resulting in around 2,000 people losing their jobs.
Staff at Irish Debenhams stores to hold protests

Staff at at least seven Debenhams Ireland stores will hold protests outside the buildings today.

The company announced earlier this month to liquidate its Irish stores, resulting in around 2,000 people losing their jobs.

The workers feel the Covid-19 pandemic was "convenient" for the business to leave Ireland.

Shop steward at the Henry Street store in Dublin, Jane Crowe, says all the products were packed away before any restrictions were brought in.

“Everybody’s heartbroken. The stores were pre-packed for them. The shutters are down,” she said.

“There’s no staff in there for them to put out.

“Our personal belongings are still in there, in all our lockers.

“We have had no access to any of that.”

In a statement yesterday, representatives from the Siptu trade union "condemned the manner in which Debenhams Retail Ireland Limited has treated its employees and have committed to challenging the manner in which a collective redundancy notice was served by the company."

Debenhams said in a statement: "In relation to protests, Debenhams Retail Ireland Ltd. (DRIL) notes that the business is currently in a consultation process with the employees. DRIL understands that this is a very difficult time for its dedicated employees and greatly regrets having had to seek liquidation.

"The business is supporting the joint liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Andrew O’Leary of KPMG, in order to get the best outcome for employees and creditors in this situation, and remains committed to the consultation process with the Unions representing employees.

"In relation to the return of personal belongings, this will be resolved as soon as the current lockdown restrictions can be lifted. The liquidator will facilitate these requests and will be writing to staff in relation to this over the coming days."

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