Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe TD has said that the news that 490 retail workers employed by the Arcadia Group are to be made redundant and only receive mandatory redundancy is just another in a long line of demonstrations that Ireland is failing over and over to protect workers.

Teachta Crowe said:

“The news that 490 workers from Topman and Topshop, and many other stores, are to be made permanently redundant is an incredible blow to these workers, their families, and their communities. Indeed, it is a massive blow to the retail sector in Ireland.

“Since early December, when liquidators were appointed to the Arcadia Group, which owns the Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Evans and Wallis brands, there was a significant worry amongst the workers and their trade union that these redundancies were coming.

“Arcadia stores had traded throughout Christmas, under the provisional liquidators, in order to maximise the value of stock. At that time, Sinn Féin stated that if the jobs couldn’t be saved, then the monies secured from the sale of this stock needed to be ring-fenced for a decent redundancy package for workers.

“Given the unfortunate situation that has arisen, it is important that the government inform the liquidators that they expect the workers’ collective agreement to be honoured and a fair redundancy package paid.

“We have failed to protect the Clerys and Debenhams workers. The Debenhams workers are still protesting their treatment while an indifferent Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil government look on.

“The government must not only step in on behalf of the retail workers at the Arcadia Group, but they must also progress legislation to boost workers’ redundancy rights in the context of a liquidation.

“How many more hundreds or thousands or workers must lose out before we take action to protect them?”