Protesters block liquidators from removing stock from Debenhams
18th May 2021
Protesters in Limerick blocked liquidators from removing stock from the city centre Debenhams store.
Former Debenhams employees and their supporters have been staging demonstrations outside the 11 Irish-based stores since April 2020, when all staff were suddenly made redundant and the company went into administration.
Former employees, most of whom are female, have been agitating for redundancy packages to the value of two weeks’ pay per year of service as well as statutory entitlements.© Provided by Extra.ie Protesters in Limerick blocked liquidators from removing stock from the city centre Debenhams store. Pic: Socialist Party
As part of the picket, protesters have been preventing the removal of stock from Debenhams stores. On Monday night, Gardai blocked off the roads approaching the Debenhams on Liddy Street in Limerick.
Former workers gathered after spotting security entering the store, and began picketing at the shop’s loading bay. Those present refused to move when instructed to do so, and Gardai from the Public Order Unit began removing picketers one by one.
When the first removal truck approached the junction of William Street and Henry Street and attempted to access the loading bay, protesters lay down in front of the vehicle.© Provided by Extra.ie As part of the picket, protesters have been preventing the removal of stock from Debenhams stores. On Monday night, Gardai blocked off the roads approaching the Debenhams on Liddy Street in Limerick. Pic: Stephen Leahy
A stand-off ensued between approximately 100 workers and supporters and 70 Gardai, until the trucks finally retreated.
Speaking about the incident, James Tuohy of the Socialist Party stated: ‘The Debenhams workers have been an inspiration. It’s day 412 of the strike, and they have gone toe to toe with the repressive arm of the State and won.
‘It’s a signal to any other workers facing a similar situation, that if they fight they can win. The Debenhams workers have been an utter inspiration and put the leaders of ICTU to shame.© Provided by Extra.ie A stand-off ensued between approximately 100 workers and supporters and 70 Gardai, until the trucks finally retreated. Pic: Stephen Leahy
‘If the massed ranks of the labour movement had followed the lead given by these workers, there’s no way that we’d still be here now. This is a fight all workers facing liquidation situations have a stake in and the lack of fight shown by the trade unions has been a dereliction of duty.’
Mr Tuohy went on to say: ‘Whatever the outcome of this struggle, a balance sheet will be drawn and it’s important that the right lessons are learned. If we fight, we can win. If we don’t, we definitely won’t. That’s the lesson from tonight.’
A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana stated: ‘An Garda Siochana attended a premises on O’Connell Street, Limerick, as required in the execution of a High Court Order on May 18, 2021. An Garda Siochana has no further comment at this time.’