FORMER Debenhams workers have said they will “go down fighting” following the news that the High Court today granted an injunction to liquidator KPMG in a bid to stop their blockade of the stores.
The injunction legally prevents the former retail employees from stopping KPMG from removing stock from the 11 closed stores nationwide.
Speaking to The Echo, Valerie Conlon, Mandate trade union shop steward at the Patrick Street store in Cork, said that despite the injunction, staff will not stand down.
“We were told that there was about an 85% chance that it would go through,” she said. “We’re disappointed but not surprised
“We can’t give up now — we’re six months in. There’s no way we can just turn around now and watch that stock leave the stores.
“We’re going to go down fighting.”
Ms Conlon said former workers at the Patrick Street store were expecting a van to come to remove stock from the premises on Tuesday or early Wednesday and said that they are adamant they will stop it.
She added that although former staff are “very concerned” about being arrested, they are resolute in battling on to see their demands for a fair redundancy package.
The workers are fighting for four weeks redundancy pay per year of service.
Speaking ahead of the news that an injunction had been granted, Solidarity TD Mick Barry said the High Court hearing was in reality “a case about the right to mount an effective picket in this country”.
“The workers are fighting for four weeks redundancy pay per year of service and the most straightforward way for them to get that is from the sale of the stock,” he said.
“A court order to stop blocking the removal of stock is more or less a court order to wind down the strike.
“The Industrial Relations Act 1990 is being used to try and break this strike.
“This law was heavily influenced by the anti union laws introduced by the Thatcher administration in the UK in the 1980s.
“It does not ban picketing as such, but it more or less bans the right to picket effectively,” the Cork North Central TD added.