Former Debenhams workers thank Cork people for support as store occupation to end tomorrow

Former Debenhams workers thank Cork people for support as store occupation to end tomorrow

Former Debenhams workers and supporters staged a rally outside the St Patrick's Street store, Cork City as the sit-in protest continued inside the store.

Former Debenhams workers have thanked the people and businesses of Cork for their support during this week’s sit-in in the Patrick’s Street store.

It comes following contributions of food to the staff taking part in the occupation, and following a lunchtime rally outside the shop this afternoon.

Staff and members of the public came out in force to show their support for the workers who are seeking two weeks redundancy per year of service, in addition to statutory redundancy.

Former Debenhams workers and supporters staged a rally outside the St Patrick's Street store, Cork City as the sit-in protest continued inside the store.
Former Debenhams workers and supporters staged a rally outside the St Patrick's Street store, Cork City as the sit-in protest continued inside the store.

Today’s rally was held to demand the rapid commencement of fresh talks to resolve the dispute and for the Government to intervene to ensure a just settlement proposal is made.

One of the staff occupying the store, Valerie Conlon, told The Echo that while she couldn’t attend the rally outside the store, she and others inside watched it on Facebook Live.

“I just want to say thank you to the people of Cork. They have really come out to support us. I was actually watching the live Facebook and got very emotional watching it all,” she said.

Former Debenhams workers and supporters staged a rally outside the St Patrick's Street store, Cork City as the sit-in protest continued inside the store.
Former Debenhams workers and supporters staged a rally outside the St Patrick's Street store, Cork City as the sit-in protest continued inside the store.

“Even Scoozi’s last night giving us a reduced rate for our dinner, and Herlihy’s Centra giving us our breakfast - ordinary people’s support is just amazing and I just want to say a big thank you,” Ms Conlon added.

There had been some issues with food being brought into the building last night but it was eventually allowed through, while three meals are being permitted to be brought in to those taking part in the sit-in today.

Those occupying the store on Patrick’s Street will be leaving tomorrow afternoon as planned, having been in the store since early Tuesday morning.

Eight Former Debenhams workers Are taking part in a sit-in at the St. Patrick Street store, Cork City. 
Eight Former Debenhams workers Are taking part in a sit-in at the St. Patrick Street store, Cork City. 

Ms Conlon, who is also a Mandate shop steward at the Patrick’s Street store, said that KPMG hadn’t been in contact with them but that Gerry Light from the Mandate Trade Union had.

“He rang to see how we are and to make sure everybody was being treated ok. The way he was talking, I assume talks are ongoing, but who they’re with I don’t know” she said.

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