Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael & The Greens choose Debenhams bosses and administrators over workers

Taoiseach Michael Martin’s decision not to intervene is an open admission of which side government falls on when battle ensues between workers and bosses.

The Irish government, led by a Cork Taoiseach and a serial deliverer of failure, chaos and incompetence, Mr. Micheál Martin – has come out this week with a series of flat platitudes and an insulting and degrading position of ‘neutrality’ in the ongoing industrial relations dispute between workers and the owners/management of Dehenhams.

The ongoing picket and stockroom blockade this week took a new turn as workers decided to occupy Debenhams stores in Cork and Dublin, with six workers arrested by An Garda Síochana in Dublin. The workers took this new measure to up the pressure on government and unions with a view towards garnering support for their ongoing rightful plight and predicament in the face of the chicanery and greed of Debenhams.

The IRSP has been on the ground in support of Debenhams workers around the country, attending pickets and mobilisations and offering our full solidarity. We continue to stand on the side of the workers in this dispute and wholly reject the governments excuses for what Micheál Martin and his government has so far been doing.

The government’s statements this week declaring that it can’t legally intervene in the administration process is deliberately misleading as it does not explain that it, and the previous government which it supported, have been sitting on and holding up legislation which would have made the situation with the Debenhams workers illegal in the first place. Furthermore, to declare neutrality in a battle between two forces in which one side (the bosses) have the odds stacked so unfairly in its favour, is indeed a tacit admission of support for the status quo. It is revealing, once again, of the hidden power structures which exist behind the ideological veil and what passes for politics in this country.

The fighting example of the Debenhams workers is becoming the emblematic worker’s struggle of the post-lockdown period and is no doubt a harbinger of things to come. The bosses and capitalist class, while being facilitated, aided and abetted by the Irish government are preparing the ground for further attacks on living standards and conditions for workers. Therefore, organising in workplaces and joining trade unions is of utmost importance in the current period. We encourage the working class to take stock and become conscious of the current economic situation – through becoming active in their communities & workplaces and pushing their trade unions in a more combative direction. Workers united, combined with the collective forces of trade unions and the political left can again become a force for positive change and progress in this country. We must all unite behind the Debenhams workers now, and organise for the coming of the workers republic.

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