28 April 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Debenhams workers are to stage a second round of protests at stores tomorrow (Wednesday) calling for government action to save their jobs.
The protests come a day before a liquidation hearing for Debenhams on Thursday. Protests will all adhere to social distancing guidelines and take place from 11 to 11.45am Wednesday at 10 stores:
- Dublin: Henry Street, Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Blackrock;
- Cork: Patrick Street, and Mahon Point;
- And at Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Newbridge.
The workers will then attend an E Rally organised by Mandate trade union at 1pm.
The workers are highlighting a potential ‘jobs carnage ’ throughout the retail sector, as other companies look to follow Debenhams lead and close up during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Speaking ahead of the protests, Jane Crowe and Cork based Valerie Conlon, shop stewards, said:
“The message of workers from these protests is that 2,000 jobs are on the line at Debenhams. That’s thousands of people and families reliant on our wages. The government would be better off stepping in now, to invest to keep people employed, rather than having to pay for thousands more people going onto social welfare.
“We believe many of the stores are profitable, as well as the online business. The government is putting billions in to keep people employed because of Covid 19. There are also EU funds available to prevent redundancies. We are asking all our political representatives to ask the government to take a stake here and invest to keep the company trading.”