300 days on: Renewed calls for resolution to Debenhams dispute

300 days on: Renewed calls for resolution to Debenhams dispute

Pictured on day 280 of the industrial dispute between Mandate Trade Union and Debenhams.

Solidarity TD Mick Barry said this morning that the Government needs to take another initiative in an attempt to resolve the Debenhams dispute.

His comments came as the dispute reached the 300 day mark.

Deputy Barry said that the Government should convert into cash the €3m set aside before Christmas for an upskilling fund for the workers and use it towards a just settlement offer to resolve the dispute.

A proposal document stated that the Government would establish a €3m training, upskilling and business start-up fund, but crucially, prevented the workers from accessing cash from the fund.

Former workers voted against proposals put to them by Labour Court chairperson Kevin Foley about three weeks ago with 393 votes against the proposals and 37 in favour.

Deputy Barry has also said that the Government should stop dragging their heels on the introduction of legislation to improve workers' rights in liquidation situations, adding that failure to introduce such legislation has already impacted other workers such as the 490 workers at Arcadia.

"Three hundred days on from the closure of Debenhams the Government are still to intervene with a realistic offer to resolve this dispute. 

"The workers are not going away and the issue is not going away and the Government cannot hide from the need both for a realistic offer for these workers and for legislation to protect other workers in future liquidation situations."

Solidarity People Before Profit and other parties will make Debenhams an issue on the floor of the Dáil again today.

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