Body Shop Closure: Workers Can Fight Back

Workers in Body Shop heard yesterday that all Body Shop stores in the republic are set for closure by 29 February –  a week from today.

Workers can fight for an enhanced redundancy package together – and even fight to keep it open.

People Before Profit can hold a zoom call for Body Shop workers and invite the workers who fought against snap retail closures in Debenhams and Iceland to talk with Body Shop staff alongside experienced union reps. Contact our Trade Union Department now [email protected] or 0833902063

Workers can prepare to strike or occupy now to stop the process. The public will be with them. People Before Profit supports workers who want to organise to fight back. Look at how Iceland and Debenhams workers fought.

There is wide public sympathy in snap closures. The networks of people who work in retail and supported Debenhams workers and Iceland workers are equally ready to help Body Shop workers.

Ireland is in a closures crisis and FF/FG/Green government doesn’t have a plan for the workers who keep retail going: Cleary’s, Debenhams, Argos, Iceland, even the small cafes were in the news last week highlight the crisis hitting Body Shop now. It’s not just business. It’s people’s lives. The need for fighting trade unions has never been more clear. Contact People Before Profit as a starting poing and we’ll stand with you.

Unions supporting retail workers are listed below. Each union will have a different plan and view on how to organise regular support for workers in your shop and will have a different view on how to support you in a crisis situation like this. Coordinate and talk to all of them.

Independent Workers Union
Industrial Workers of the World

Joining a union does helps with an understanding of closures and the law and they advise on how to fight back for a better deal.

Demand that your union fights for enhanced redundancies or can advise how to keep the jobs going doing whatever is needed. Workers can occupy their shops, like workers did in Iceland. This is a normal and legal tactic in snap closures to open sincere negotiations.

It’s important is that workers stick together, keep talking, and take action collectively – and  fast. The owners will know that the people in Ireland are willing to support shop workers. Unite and fight. We lined up behind Debenhams and Iceland and we want you to fight and win with the lessons they learned.

The FF/FG/Green government should have passed the Debenhams Bill which we strongly supported during the Debenhams workers’ historic 406-day strike. They didn’t. Why? So that retail owners would have an easier time setting up and shutting down operations here. As ever, it’s workers who have to stand up for workers. We are with you and we will help coordinate the fight back.

People Before Profit members are workers and trade unionists in communities around the country. We encourage workers in every retail outlet to unionise in order to protect workers and create stronger networks for people in the industry no matter how long they are working, whether it’s the 15+ year manager or the holiday season temporary help. Everyone in retail needs to be in a union.

Unions have done great things for workers when we unite and fight: look at the Mandate-sponsored Banded Hours contracts bill which passed and our Trade Union Recognition Bill which FF/FG and the Greens have stalled at the first stage. It takes time but we are in it for the long haul.

Regardless, you should absolutely contact your political representatives and go as public as possible.

Don’t be isolated. Stick together. Keep talking. Take action. If you don’t fight you haven’t got a shot at winning. Workers – even workers in retail – deserve better treatment and ‘the market’ isn’t providing. Unionise and build the change we are all going to need. Join a fighting trade union and fight back.

Contact People Before Profit and get on to the unions now. Stick together and unite with workers from the other shops in a fighting union now.