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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 November 2010

Support the Laura Ashley strikers

IN SEPTEMBER bosses at the Laura Ashley clothing outlet in Dublin, Ireland abruptly told their 22-strong, predominantly female workforce that the shop would be closing. This was despite pre-tax profits of 10.5 million in the first half of the year.

Michael O'Brien, Socialist Party Ireland

The bosses had sold the leasehold on the property to Disney for a lucrative price. The workers were initially given the impression that they would be successfully redeployed within the chain of stores.

Disregarding the loyal service of its staff, many having worked there for over ten years, the employers then, disgracefully, offered the statutory minimum of two weeks pay for each year of service, of which the company can claim 60% back from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation.

The company adopted a crude anti-union stance and refused to engage in negotiations with Mandate [the trade union involved] regarding either saving jobs or the improved redundancy conditions. The workers had no choice but to take strike action since 22 October.

Spirits were high among the workers on the first day of the picket with many people offering support. A branch of the Civil and Public Services Union officially communicated their support to the workers. Members of the Socialist Party in Ireland have visited the pickets every day, discussed tactics with the striking workers and organised fund-raising to support them.

Joe Higgins, Socialist Party MEP for Dublin, visited the picket line to show his support and said: "We support the workers 100% and call on the working people everywhere to support the picket in Grafton Street and for Mandate to mount a campaign to save the jobs."

Unfortunately support and advice has not come from the union leadership who have instead tried to block escalation of the campaign.

Socialists in the Committee for a Workers' International have shown solidarity with protests at Laura Ashley outlets in Antwerp, Brussels and Edinburgh and at the headquarters in London.

Please sign the petition at: www.mandate.ie

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 17 November 2010:


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for your future!

Massive student demo shows anti-cuts anger

24 November - Strike against fees and cuts

Defend student protesters!

10 November demonstration: Students fighting back


War and occupation

Afghanistan: Withdraw the troops now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Kirklees - fighting 400 million budget cut

Protests and meetings against the cuts

Victory in law centre battle

Jobs threat in Knowsley

Ballot cancelled in BA dispute

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Universal Credit - a thinly veiled attack on the sick and unemployed

Coalition turns back the clock on justice

Tories promote fast food nation

Fast news


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition launches its campaign for the 2011 local elections


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 'Not simply a crisis but an absolute disaster'

Ireland: United Left Alliance to challenge at next general election

Support the Laura Ashley strikers


Socialist Party review

Britain's trillion pound horror story


 

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