Travel agency staff picket over failure to pay redundancy award

Seven former staff of BCD Travel yesterday protested outside their former workplace at the Kerry Group offices, in Tralee.

The workers, who plan to continue the protest outside the head offices of BCD Travel in Santry, Dublin, today, are taking the action because of BCD’s unwillingness to make redundancy payments awarded in a Labour Court ruling.

BCD, which manages corporate travel arrangements for the Kerry-based food multinational group, made the female staff redundant in early April.

Siptu organiser Karan O’Loughlin said following a Labour Court hearing, the workers were awarded an additional two weeks per year of service redundancy payment but BCD refused to abide by the ruling.

“The seven women affected worked solely in the Kerry Group offices on a contract arranging corporate travel arrangements for that company,” she said.

“Despite this, the management of Kerry Group has refused to request that its contractor respect workers’ rights and honour a ruling of the Labour Court.”

The women are resolved to maintain these protests until they are paid what they are owed, Ms O’Loughlin stated.

Kerry Group, however, has said the issue is between the former workers and BCD Travel and not one for Kerry Group to address.

BCD Travel, meanwhile, said it cannot afford the additional redundancy payments and claimed many of the staff’s demands had been met.

Staff had initially sought seven weeks pay per year of service, but subsequently reduced their demands to two times the statutory entitlement, the company added.

“We’re not in a position to comply with these requests if we are to continue as a viable operation in Ireland, offering opportunities for continued employment for our current staff base,” BCD said in a statement.

It said it had done everything possible for the staff, but could not afford an enhanced redundancy package.

BCD Travel also said it is trading in “exceptionally challenging conditions”.


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