23 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Solidarity TD Mick Barry will today raise the issue of the crisis in the retail sector and the Debenhams closure with the Taoiseach in the Dáil.
The Cork North Central TD will voice his support for a moratorium on company liquidations at least until such time as the lockdown is lifted.
It is understood that he will ask the Taoiseach to voice his support for the proposal too.
The Debenhams case is before the High Court this day next week (April 30). If a liquidator is appointed the workers will be set to receive only two week’s redundancy per year of service and the company will end up paying no compensation to staff.
Ahead of today’s Dail sitting Deputy Barry said this morning:
“Retail Ireland are telling us that 110,000 jobs are on the line in the sector. Already we have seen the closures of Debenhams, Oasis, Warehouse and Laura Ashley. The Debenhams case is a test case and the way that workers are treated here will set a benchmark. I believe that the State should intervene to save 2000 jobs but that at a bare minimum the State should ensure that Debenhams are not allowed to abscond in the middle of a lockdown without paying a penny to their workers.”
The Solidarity TD also said he would also raise with the Taoiseach the use of Garda emergency powers to disperse a Debenhams workers’ protest involving social distancing outside the Henry St, Dublin, store on Tuesday.