Taoiseach and Enterprise Minister to meet with former Debenhams workers

The workers have been protesting at their treatment by their former employer which ceased operations in Ireland earlier this year.
Taoiseach and Enterprise Minister to meet with former Debenhams workers
Debenhams  workers and supporters during a rally over the closure outside the Patrick Street branch in Cork earlier this month. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and junior Enterprise Minister Robert Troy are to hold a meeting with former Debenhams' workers tomorrow, a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party has been told.

The workers have been protesting at their treatment by their former employer which ceased operations in Ireland earlier this year.

Mr Troy reportedly told the private meeting that he is seeking to amend legislation to strengthen the rights of workers, but said that it will not be retrospective and will not apply to those affected workers at the former high street outlet.

Mr Martin has sharply criticised the treatment of the workers by Debenhams in the Dáil in recent weeks.

The plight of the workers was raised at the meeting by Dublin South-West TD John Lahart.

Last week, the former Debenhams workers marked the 100th day of their dispute over redundancy terms by staging a series of protests around Ireland. 

The former staff claim the package offered to them when the Irish arm of Debenhams was placed into liquidation this spring was unfair.

They are set to receive statutory redundancy payouts of two weeks of salary per year of service. The workers are demanding four weeks’ pay per service year. 

They are also calling on the Government to waive monies owed to it through the liquidation process so they can be used to boost the redundancy packages. 

Liquidator KPMG is set to use proceeds of the liquidation of the Irish business’s assets to pay off key creditors, such as the Revenue Commissioners and other State bodies.

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