Breaking News : Occupation of La Senza store in Dublin

Workers at La Senza lingerie outlet that has just announced the closure of all its operations in Ireland have occupied the shop in Liffey Valley, with La Senza workers from throughout Dublin joining to assist the sit-in.

La Senza in Liffey Valley alone took in almost a quarter of a million euro over the Christmas period, but staff have been left without wages, including overtime payments for working at Christmas.

According to the workers, quite incredibly, La Senza local management was informed from the company hierarchy, a private equity firm, to take on temporary staff over the busy Christmas period, presumably in the full knowledge that the company was heading into liquidation where payment of wages was in question.

The Socialist Party applauds these workers in their stance and calls on the company to immediately pay the workers all that is owed to them in full, as well full redundancy.

Socialist Party TD Clare Daly calls for support for La Senza workers in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre

Responding to the occupation by workers of the La Senza lingerie outlet in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre following the sudden announcement of the firm’s closure of all its Irish operations Socialist Party / United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly said:

Like Vita Cortex and Lagan Brick and countless previous examples since the crisis began here we have another situation where workers are treated with utter contempt.

With no arrangements for redundancy and no opportunity for the workers to be involved at looking at options to save their jobs the occupation of the shops in Liffey Valley is 100% justified. Workers from the closed outlets in Grafton Street and Dundrum have joined their colleagues in Liffey Valley.

These workers deserve the active support of their community and workers everywhere. Ways of forging links with workers in the closed chains in the North and Britain should be found so that maximum organised pressure can be put on the company.

The determined stand taken by these workers demonstrates that the ground for a massive unionisation drive in the retail sector is very fertile. Our trade union movement must be equal to the task.

“It is also becoming increasingly obvious to workers that militant tactics are required to protect their rights. The principles of the global occupation movement have found there way into the popular consciousness of workers in Ireland which is something the Socialist Party welcomes

Interview with Worker occupying La Senza, Liffey Valley

Can you explain how you’ve been treated by your former employer?
We’ve been treated like dogs. The company hid behind the smokescreen of KPMG and said that we weren’t going into liquidation. We worked Stephen’s Day, Christmas Eve, New Years Eve because we were told that we would get paid, losing out on time with our family at Christmas. They lied to us, led us along, said we weren’t closing down. They said, “There’s a contingency”  plan and not to worry. We were cheerful, nice to the customers and so on when all this was going on. But the reality is that all along they must have known that we were closing down, and that we wouldn’t get our wages!

What are you and the other workers demanding?
We want our wages and our overtime for the last month and a half. We want our time in lieu and we want the holiday pay that we are owed. They kept lying to us so that we wouldn’t leave. They withheld information from us so we wouldn’t leave the shop at Christmas and now they’re just kicking us to the kerb.

Are you getting much support?
A man that none of us knows put 50 euro under the shutter. Everyone’s been cheering, giving us the thumbs up. The response has been great. It’s like with the guys down in Cork [Vita Cortex, workers’ sit in], we’re all the in same boat and something has to be done. Hopefully this can also give them more support and publicity.

What inspired you to occupy?
We thought we could do a similar thing to what they’ve done in Cork. And when it happened we just said that we’re not leaving, because we’ve been treated with such injustice.

 

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