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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2020

Ireland: Debenham's workers occupy stores

Debenham's workers occupy Dublin store September 2020

Debenham's workers occupy Dublin store September 2020   (Click to enlarge)

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.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 9 September 2020:


Coronavirus news

Fight the schools Covid crisis

Safety overridden in drive to bolster the economy

Caerphilly lockdown puts profits before safety

Under the microscope


Campaigns and party news

Jobs, training, pay, we want a future!

Dover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism

Big push to hit finance target


News

15% now - unions must fight for NHS pay rise

Callous Tories threaten not to uprate the minimum wage

XR blockade: Don't let the Tories criminalise protest

Grenfell fire inquiry stops victims attending

Video game developer attacks Black Lives Matter


What we think

U-turn Tories' splits are growing


Workplace news

Fight Amazon's anti-union spies

NSSN rally: Workers must not pay the price of Covid

Nottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy

Covid-19 pandemic increases financial pressures on Welsh local government

Ireland: Debenham's workers occupy stores

Hull: Defend Tony Smith!

Reinstate Richie Venton


Unison

A critical election for Unison general secretary


TUSC

Back at work! TUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians


International news

Belarus: Mass opposition continues to defy repression by Lukashenko's regime

Strike wave marks new stage in revival of Iranian workers' movement


 

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Related links:

Ireland:

triangleBritain's fragile Covid equilibrium is coming to an end

triangleIreland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

triangleDebenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies

triangleCovid pandemic and Northern Ireland - workers must resist the bosses' offensive

triangleTwo-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

Workers:

triangleUS in crisis - need for a mass workers' party and socialist programme

triangleProtect the NHS - Funding, Pay, PPE, Public ownership

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

triangleTechnology and AI response: Capitalists only invest for profit

Occupy:

triangleLeeds pensioners occupy BBC to save free TV licenses

triangleOccupy and demand nationalisation to save Devon shipyard

triangleGoldsmiths students occupy and protest in support of UCU strikers

Redundancy:

triangleChristmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association

triangleFight BT redundancies

Dublin:

triangleIrish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

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