Staff at Waterford’s Debenhams store hold second protest in effort to save their jobs
Staff members of Waterford’s Debenhams store who have been told they no longer have a job after the retail giant went into liquidation, are to stage a protests outside City Square today calling on the Government to save their jobs.
The Waterford workers will join with staff protesting outside another nine Debenhams stores in Ireland asking for state intervention to save the jobs rather than seeing the 2,000 staff going onto social welfare.
Today’s protest, which takes place from 11am until 11.45am will adhere to all social distancing guidelines and will be the second such protest following a similar call for intervention two weeks ago.
After the staff’s protest at the City Square store, they will then join with the colleagues for an online rally, being organised by the trade union Mandate.
Debenham’s liquidation hearing will held tomorrow, Thursday, April 30 and the online rally according to Mandate is to highlighting the potential ‘jobs carnage’ throughout
the retail sector, as other companies look to follow Debenhams lead and close up during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking ahead of the protests, Jane Crowe and Valerie Conlon, shop stewards at Mandate said: “The message of workers from these protests is that 2,000 jobs are on the line at Debenhams.
“That’s thousands of people and families reliant on our wages. The government would be better off stepping in now, to keep people employed, rather than having to pay for thousands more people going onto social welfare.
“We believe many of the stores are profitable, as well as the online business.
“The government is putting billions in to keep people employed because of Covid 19. There are also EU funds available to prevent redundancies.
“We are asking all our political representatives to ask the government to take a stake here and invest to keep the company trading,” the stewards concluded.