Media Release- On behalf of Debenhams workers
All workers should support their pickets
Injunction can be defeated with mass pickets
Michael Martin must act now
In a statement today the shop stewards representing the Debenhams workers called on all van and truck drivers not to pass their pickets and to not assist KPMG in removing stock from Debenhams shops. KPMG have indicated that they will start moving stock from the shops on Monday.
The shop stewards said:
“KPMG is trying to criminalise our campaign for justice. By going to the courts and getting an injunction it thinks it can bully the workers into submission.
“But the workers will stand up to this bullying and defy attempts to remove stock from the 11 Debenhams shops. After six months we will not allow KPMG to remove the stock. Keeping the stock in the shops is our only guarantee that our campaign will be successful.
“We are calling on all van and truck drivers not to assist KPMG and not to pass our pickets. We are calling on all workers to join us on our pickets and help us make KPMG’s injunction ineffective.
“The Debenhams workers are fighting for all workers as their struggle has highlighted the terrible way workers are treated when companies go into liquidation. Like the Clery’s workers before them they are not getting their full entitlements. But their struggle has put huge pressure on the government to give commitments to change the law so that workers are treated fairly during liquidations.
“With job losses threatened across the economy it is vital that all workers, especially retail workers, get behind the Debenhams workers. We are calling on all unions to support our pickets.”
The shop stewards reiterated their call for talks and called on Taoiseach Michael Martin TD to immediately convene talks involving the shop stewards with the aim of reaching a just settlement of their dispute.
“With the prospect of workers being jailed as a result of the actions of KPMG the Taoiseach cannot stand idly by. The consequence of doing nothing is that workers who have fought for justice through the Covid 19 crisis will end up in jail. The responsibility for this will lie squarely with the government. We are calling on him to act now”.