People Before Profit TD for Dún Laoghaire Richard Boyd Barrett has condemned the role that the Gardaí played in facilitating strike breaking efforts by a company who have moved boxes into the Debenhams store in the Blackrock Frascati Centre in order to remove stock from the store.
A truck containing boxes for the removal of stock was accompanied to the store at 5am this morning by two Gardaí who told the picket that they would be arrested if they attempted to stop the crossing of the picket.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, who has been supporting the workers at the pickets regularly since the dispute began, joined the workers this morning and heard of their extreme upset by the role played by the Gardaí in facilitating strike breaking.
The Frascati Centre in Blackrock has an arrangement with the residents of a neighbouring estate that no trucks would operate in or out of the centre outside of the hours of 7am-7pm. The TD said that he is inquiring with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council if the arrival of the trucks at the store before the hour of 7am constitutes a breach of planning law.
He said: “The Debenhams workers in Blackrock are absolutely shocked, upset and angry at the role played by the Gardaí in this effort to break the strike and removal of stock from the store, which is the only source of extra redundancy that these workers have.
“These workers who have been working in Debenhams for years, law abiding citizens, cannot believe that the Gardaí would play such a role in strike breaking efforts. It is utterly unacceptable that the Gardaí would intervene in this way in an industrial dispute. If it turns out that the Gardaí have also facilitated the breach of planning laws in this action it would really be quite disgraceful.
“This episode further shames the government who have so far refused to intervene to resolve this dispute.”