Ireland’s first virtual protest to take place in support of Debenhams workers

Tuesday 28 April 2020

More than 800 participants have already registered to participate in Ireland’s first ever virtual rally in support of the Debenhams workers taking place tomorrow (Wednesday, 29th April) between 1pm and 1:45pm.

The rally is being hosted by Mandate Trade Union and Uplift – People Powered Change and all media outlets are invited to join in.

1,500 Debenhams workers in Ireland lost their jobs on the 9th April after management informed staff that 11 of their stores in Ireland “are not expected to reopen” while the company was filing for liquidation.

The workers, some of whom have over 30 years service, being originally employed under the Roches Stores brand, have been told they will only receive their statutory entitlements.

John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary said:
“Public support for the Debenhams workers has been phenomenal. Already 20,000 people have signed a petition in support of the workers and now almost 1,000 people have registed to participate in this unique virtual rally.”

He added, “We believe the company sought to enter the liquidation process during the COVID-19 crisis because it prevented the workers from being able to negotiate effectively. They couldn’t attend meetings or engage in normal industrial relations activities. We even saw how Gardai prevented some of the workers from protesting outside their store last week, so we have to come up with new and innovative ways of making our voices heard.”

Siobhan O’Donoghue, Director of Uplift said:

“Despite the Covid19 lockdown we refuse to stand on the sidelines and watch people who work in Debenhams be mistreated and denied their rights as workers. Hundreds of Uplift members are proud to be joining a virtual rally tomorrow in solidarity with Debenhams workers.”

Mr Douglas said Mandate Trade Union is inviting members of the public to register for the virtual rally to hear directly from workers who have lost their jobs.

“We have invited all politicians from all political parties to join this virtual rally. It would be great to see hundreds of members of the public logging on in support of the Debenhams workers and sending a very strong message to both the company and to politicians that this despicable treatment of workers is completely unacceptable. The Debenhams workers deserve justice and no worker should have to go through this process.”

WHAT: Solidarity With Debenham Workers Online Rally
WHEN: 1pm to 1.45pm on Wednesday April 29th
WHERE: ONLINE via video call (RSVP for more details)
WHO: Anyone with a passion for protecting workers.

To join the rally, please register by clicking here.