Government must address Debenhams redundancies says Cork TD

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The Government needs to address the ongoing situation regarding the liquidation of retailed Debenhams according to Solidarity - People Before Profit TD, Mick Barry.

Following the announcement that the store was going into liquidation, workers began picketing outside 11 stores around the country to stop stock being removed until an agreement was reached for workers to receive more than the basic level of redundancy required by law.

Staff have been picketing for the past four months, while no progress has been made in negotiations.

Finance firm, KPMG were appointed as liquidators back in April and have since threatened injunctive action against the picketing staff in order to allow stock from the stores to be cleared.

TD for Cork-North Central, Mr Barry said Government politicians who said they would be involved in brokering a settlement for workers should explain themselves.

"In the case of Debenhams, the key leverage the workers have is preventing the removal of the stock from the 11 stores until there is an agreement reached to honour the four weeks pay per year's service enhanced redundancy terms that was agreed between the company and MANDATE during the last round of redundancies in 2016.

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"If the workers stand aside and allow KPMG remove the stock and dispose of it without an agreement, their four month long battle for justice ends without success."

In a Facebook post, Mr Barry also confirmed that some staff were planning a picket outside the KPMG offices next Tuesday.

"The threat from KPMG does not come as a surprise. However the government has a case to answer. In a round of meetings workers had with a number of Ministers, including the Táinaiste and the Taoiseach, every indication was given that behind the scenes efforts would be made to broker an offer above and beyond the statutory minimum.

"These Ministers should account for their efforts or lack thereof and not take advantage of the Dáil recess and go into effective hiding on the matter," added Mr Barry.

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