Debenhams workers have been picketing for 159 days today in Dublin — everyday, 24h a day, on 6h shifts. And they will continue to do so until they get an agreement that is fair and just.
As DiEM25 Dublin DSC we want to express our solidarity to Debenhams staff and all the workers that are already feeling the impact of the overlapping COVID and Brexit crisis.
Manuela and Agnese from Dublin DSC 1 spoke with Lucy, a representative from the picket who gave us an update on their strike. Debenhams retail company closed the Irish branch during the lockdown, but over 159 days (154 at the date of this interview) later workers are still fighting for their redundancies.
“They made an offer to give us 1 million euros, as an enhanced redundancy payment, there are a thousand of us, it would have been based on our service and our hours of work — pro rata they call it. But really, it’s not very much you know, when you work it all out. They also offered us — they were going to open two stores to sell off the stock; (…) there’s up to about 25 million worth of stock in all the Debenhams stores, and they offered that when the stock was sold off (…) any net profit from that stock, 23 and 1/3 percentage of that stock would go to the workers. So the union had said they were going to send out the ballot papers for us to vote, whether we were going to vote yes or no on it. But since then, the girls have had a sit in in the store in Henry St. and in the store in Cork and KPMG withdrew the offer. So, at the moment, there is no offer on the table, we’re still in the same situation we were in from the start.”
“We understand that the company went into liquidation, but I mean to just go off and wash your hands of us… Especially, they are still open in the UK. I know that the Irish branch is saying that they’re separate from the English branch but that’s just ridiculous. That’s just underhanded business being done. (…) It’s really and truly disgraceful.”
“The workers, united, will never be defeated!”
— DiEM25 Dublin1 DSC (@Diem25Ireland) September 10, 2020
Photo Source: PJ Coogan on Twitter.
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