The IRSP fully support Debenhams workers as they bravely take to the streets again in protest over the decision not to honour a previous agreement in relation to a redundancy package. This represents a disdainful mistreatment of workers, some of whom have given over 30 years of labour. Unfortunately, ordinary working people know only too well that this type of devious trickery is what’s called tradition among the big employers.
Debenhams have shamefully exploited the Covid pandemic to dispossess decent ordinary hard working people of their entitlements. Since 9 April this year, Debenhams workers have been left in complete limbo with no clarification forthcoming as to where they stand. Equally shameful is the government’s neglect of this gross mistreatment of workers; especially from Regina Doherty, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. While passing lip service to the plight of these workers, we are not surprised the Minister refuses to intervene in a meaningful way that may ensure a beneficial outcome for the Debenhams workers.
The Debenhams situation represents an example of the more aggressive class conflict emerging in post lockdown society. Despicable images emerged of Gardai harassing dignified social distancing demonstrations by workers while willfully ignoring the flouting of regulations by others. Anti-worker rhetoric in overdrive by business association leaders and media figures regarding covid unemployment benefits clearly depicting the contempt with which the capitalist class holds ordinary working class people; conveniently ignoring how many profitable and operational businesses have benefited from a state funded subsidised workforce during, and likely after, the pandemic
Debenhams will now utilize the insolvency fund and benefit from a ready made liquidation package that will eventually cost the Irish state and taxpayers millions. The IRSP recognises this as further transfer of public funds to private interests. We express solidarity with the Debenhams workers who continue to fight against this malicious mistreatment. Furthermore, we echo the unions call on the government and the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to intervene on behalf of the workers