5 February 2022
By Tom Collins
Sinn Fein TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, has called on the government to address issues with the distribution of the Training Fund promised to Debenhams workers last year.
Speaking in the Dail chamber yesterday, Teachta Gould said:
“In May last year, the Debenhams workers bravely ended their 406 day dispute and accepted a government offer of a €3 million training fund.
“They were only on the picket lines because of the governments failed promises to implement the Duffy-Cahill report.
“And yet, here we are 258 days later and the Debenhams workers are still waiting on their training fund.
“This cannot be yet another broken promise by Fine Gael who have never managed to put the workers first.
“The government now need to work with the workers, iron out the details and get this fund over the line.
“These workers stood on the picket line through freezing cold winters, through scandalous treatment by KPMG and
Debenhams and through a government who didn’t seem to care. There were no champagne parties for the Debenhams workers. There was no trip to Dubai for a wellness conference. There was certainly no €81,000 pay increase.
“Instead, they haven’t even been given the training fund they were promised by this government.
“It is shameful. And what is even more shameful is that these workers were only stuck in this dispute because of the government’s failure to implement the Duffy-Cahill report.
“We’ve had the Clery’s workers, the Coca Cola Workers, the Vita Cortex Workers and the Debenhams workers. It’s
almost 6 years since the report that would finally see workers put first in this state but you’ve still done nothing.
“Why is that when workers in this state, the backbone of our economy, come looking for the most basic level of
respect Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green party can look the other way?
“But when it is their pals – looking for pay increases, ambassador roles or confidential government documents – this government always delivers.”