Former Debenhams staff have been holding sit-ins at the company’s stores across the country since April in a dispute over redundancy terms that has lasted more than 150 days, with workers blocking the removal of stock from the stores.
The hashtag “strikingisnotacrime” has trended on social media as the politicians have joined the workers.
— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) October 12, 2020
— Brid Smith TD (@bridsmithTD) October 12, 2020
Six people were arrested at a protest at the former store on Henry Street in Dublin in September, with gardaí citing trespassing under the Public Order Act as the reason.
The six protesters were detained at Store Street Garda station in Dublin but later released pending further investigations.
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O’Reilly also joined Ms McDonald at a protest in Dublin today, while Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan joined workers in Limerick.
— Louise O’Reilly TD for Dublin Fingal (@loreillysf) October 12, 2020
On the picket line with the #Debenhams workers In #Limerick this morning.
They are standing strong and are as determined as ever.
The way they have been treated is a disgrace.#StrikingIsNotACrime pic.twitter.com/XeUS3H99Lu
— Maurice Quinlivan TD (@QuinlivanTD) October 12, 2020
Speaking in the Dáil previously, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the treatment of Debenhams workers had been "shabby and shoddy" and that the Government had communicated its views to the company.
No surprise to see @Ginosocialist @paulmurphy_TD & @SeanCroweTD at the #tallaght picket line today, always supported ex Debenhams workers. @JohnLahart also showed up, tho considering how he's voted with the government it was a surprise.#Debenhams #StrikingIsNotACrime pic.twitter.com/iwLl2tnuO2
— Patrick Doherty (@Padjod) October 12, 2020
The Irish arm of Debenhams, which operated 11 stores, was placed into liquidation in April.
A potential deal between KPMG, Debenhams’ liquidator, and trade union Mandate was announced in September, but workers continued to demonstrate saying the deal failed to deliver four weeks’ pay per service year.