The ‘Highway 6’ have defied a stark legal warning to end their sit-in and vowed last night to continue their protest.
Despite the threat of a High Court injunction, the six former staff members of the Highway Retail Ltd-run filling station in Ballyvolane, which has closed on the northside of Cork City, said they were as determined as ever to secure redundancy.
They called again on their former employers to engage in face-to-face talks.
“It’s very simple. We want our former employer to bring us in to talks and let us know what is going on,” former filling station manager, Deirdre Cregan, said.
“We also would like written confirmation from our former employers that we will get statutory redundancy.”
The former workers have been occupying the filling station shop since the business closed suddenly on Tuesday.
They received their full pay entitlements yesterday just hours before being served with a notice to vacate/injunction warning issued by Catherine Allison & Co Solicitors, acting on behalf of Highway Retail.
The notice, which named three former staff members, Deirdre Cregan, Danny Falvey and Jacinta Power, and “other unauthorised individuals”, said they were “causing an obstruction” to Peter Rafferty, who had been ordered by Highway Retail to gain access to the property to retrieve stock and contents.
The notice to vacate yesterday, November 6, was followed by a warning that: “In the interim, we will hold you liable for all losses and damages and the cost of all stock estimated at €18,000 perishable stock, as well as the accrual of daily rent due to the landlord for each day. This letter will be used to ground our clients claim for all legal costs.
“For the record, we would remind you that this is a shop closure only and the actual company, Highway Retail Ltd, remains valid and existing and your claims for any redundancy is against the company in the usual manner.”
But the staff ignored the order to vacate.
Ms Cregan said they were willing to pack the stock and hand it back to the company, but insisted they would not leave the building until they get their written guarantees..
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