Unions want action for Debenhams workers
by Mehak Dugal

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has renewed its call for the Government to intervene in the Debenhams dispute to bring an end to the current deadlock. ICTU also expressed full support for the strike action currently underway in the dispute.


The staff, represented by Mandate union, were previously promised a redundancy package which included four weeks’ pay per year of service. But this was soon forgotten when the company entered liquidation earlier this year.


The liquidator maintains that there are no assets to pay the 1,000 staff more than statutory redundancy of two weeks’ pay per year of service.


The Debenhams workers have been protesting and campaigning for over 20 weeks for a fair redundancy settlement from their former employer.


ICTU is also urging the Taoiseach to introduce legislation to protect the terms and conditions of staff whose employers go into receivership. This would prevent similar situations arising in future.


Its general secretary Patricia King said the government should offer more than sympathy to the Debenhams workers. She called on public representatives to support “the ongoing attempts by Mandate and Congress to find a resolution to the situation in which workers find themselves.”


Congress and Mandate have also offered to make themselves available to discuss or elaborate on any details of their proposals if the Government accepts their invitation to intervene.


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