Chair of Labour Court to mediate in Debenhams dispute

Chair of Labour Court to mediate in Debenhams dispute

The Government has confirmed that the Chair of the Labour Court has agreed to mediate in the ongoing dispute.

THE Taoiseach and the Tánaiste have confirmed that the current Chair of the Labour Court, Kevin Foley, will mediate in the dispute involving former Debenhams employees.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar confirmed the news tonight and said that the Government "is appealing to all sides to make every effort to resolve this ongoing dispute”.

At Today’s Enterprise, Trade and Employment Committee on the implementation of the ‘Duffy-Cahill’ report, Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould raised the issue of the Debenhams workers with Minister Damien English TD.

Deputy Gould said that he welcomes the announcement that Kevin Foley has agreed to act as a mediator and hopes that KPMG will "cooperate in good faith".

“Unfortunately, the Government have failed to act and support the workers,” he said.

“I hope for the workers and their families’ sake that the dispute will be finally resolved because this dispute has lasted far too long and the Government need to tell KPMG to negotiate in a meaningful way.” 

Solidarity TD Mick Barry said that a settlement is required in time for Christmas for the former Debenhams workers who have been involved in the dispute for seven months.

“There needs to be a just settlement to the Debenhams dispute, and it needs to happen before Christmas so that workers can spend the holiday season with their families rather than be stuck on a picket line.” 

The announcement comes a week after the former Debenhams workers met with the Taoiseach on their long-running battle over redundancy.

Former Debenhams worker, Madeline Whelan described the news as a "glimmer of hope" in a recent tweet. 

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