Debenham's workers occupy Dublin store September 2020

Debenham’s workers occupy Dublin store September 2020   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Debenham’s workers in Ireland occupied the Dublin (above) and Cork stores in protest at the derisory redundancy settlement offered.

The occupation on 8 September marked 150 days of protests and campaigning by the workers, sacked when the company closed all its Irish stores, resulting in 1,000 job losses.

Disgracefully, some of the workers and supporters were arrested in Dublin before pressure forced their release.

The workers’ union Mandate negotiated the settlement. Workers were to be balloted, but many say the settlement is not enough.

The shop steward at the Cork store, Valerie Conlon, says: “Four weeks redundancy per year of service is a very modest demand, but the offer that was made fell far short of it. Instead of providing two weeks per year of service on top of the statutory minimum, the offer provides for an extra one day’s pay per year of service. That is a real insult.”

Debenham’s are also closing stores and laying off workers in the UK, and weekly protests by workers have been ongoing in Manchester, with solidarity actions elsewhere.