On a number of occasions, as various milestones were passed, the Debenhams shop stewards have said that they did not set out to break records. However, to sustain a struggle for a year in the freakish circumstances of a pandemic and a lockdown is remarkable and further seals the place of the Debenhams workers in Irish labour history.
Debenhams and Arcadia must open their books to the workers to show where the money has gone. In 2015, the Arcadia Group - owned by multi-millionaire retail tycoon Sir Philip Green - famously sold off the failing BHS department store for £1, but not before Green took £400 million out of the company for himself!
Debenhams Ireland workers were sacked by email on Easter Thursday — just two days after the company had assured them their jobs were safe. Such callous indifference to workers — some with decades of service going back to Roches Stores and the launch of Debenhams into Ireland in 1996.