Debenhams workers launch official strike action

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Yesterday (Tuesday 26th May 2020) Mandate Trade Union formally launched a Debenhams national official strike campaign.

Mandate Trade Union members in Cork held pickets at both the Debenhams Patrick Street and Mahon Point locations.

Debenhams workers recently voted to engage in industrial action across all eleven Debenhams locations by a margin of 97 percent in favour. A key objective of the industrial action campaign is to prevent the removal of any remaining company assets from the closed stores and to pressurise the Debenhams parent company in the UK to pay a fair union negotiated redundancy package to their loyal staff in Ireland.

Commenting on the first two of many planned pickets Gerry Light Mandate, Assistant General Secretary said:

“Mandate stands fully behind our Debenhams members’ demand for a reasonable and fair redundancy package. These workers have been disgracefully treated by their employer and their anguish and frustration is exacerbated by attempts by the company yesterday (Tuesday 26th May) to remove assets from one of the stores.”

He added, “In Cork yesterday, our members bravely managed to prevent an insidious attempt by company representatives to remove assets from the empty Debenhams Patrick Street location. Our members, legally protected by an official ballot for industrial action, stood firm. They are extremely single minded in their determination to secure a fair redundancy package and their union will provide all the necessary support to help them achieve that justifiable objective.”

Mr Light continued, “In the event of this type of sleight of hand manoeuvre occurring again, let me make one thing very clear to this company, any further attempts by Debenhams to frustrate our official national strike and to undermine our official pickets by attempting to remove assets will be met with strong and determined resistance.

He concluded: “These eleven Debenhams locations will be subject to ongoing pickets no matter who decides to operate a business from them and our campaign will incrementally intensify accordingly. This union and its members will do everything within its power to halt the transfer of valuable assets from all eleven locations until a fair and satisfactory resolution to this dispute has been agreed.”