Mandate welcomes government intervention on Debenhams dispute

Thursday 26 November 2020

Mandate welcomes yesterday’s joint announcement by the Tánaiste and Taoiseach of the appointment of Kevin Foley, Chair of Labour Court, to conciliate on the Debenhams dispute.

Gerry Light, Mandate General Secretary said he hopes this intervention will be a ‘game changer’ and help achieve a satisfactory resolution.

He said: “We agree with the Government aspiration that all sides make every effort to resolve this dispute, and Mandate will play its part in attempting to find a resolution that is acceptable to our members.”

Separately, Mandate has called on KPMG, the Debenhams liquidator, to cease attempts to remove stock while Mr Foley is attempting to settle the dispute.

Yesterday it appears KPMG attempted to access the Limerick and Tralee stores in order to remove stock. Gerry Light wrote two letters to the Debenhams liquidator seeking clarification which have not received a response.

Mr Light urged KPMG to respect the government’s offer of mediation and allow the initiative an opportunity to succeed.

“That means a commitment to not attempt the removal of stock until this process has been exhausted,” he said.

Mr Light concluded: “The Debenhams workers have been on strike for more than 230 days now and they deserve peace of mind as well as the opportunity to spend Christmas with their families. If that is to happen, all parties, including the liquidator and the government, will need to step up to the plate and if they do, Mandate will play its part in resolving this protracted dispute.”