Iceland workers at Coolock branch stage new sit-in protestMike Finnerty 28 Jun 2023
Workers at the Coolock branch of Iceland are staging a fresh sit-in protest after an apparent breakdown in negotiations surrounding redundancy pay.
The Irish franchise went into examinership last Tuesday, with a High Court-appointed examiner hired to look at the substantial €35 million debts at the company.
Concerns surrounding late payment had been raised at the Coolock branch as early as February and a sit-in was staged last Wednesday by workers at the store in protest of them losing their jobs.
The sit-in was ended late on Wednesday after workers received assurances that their concerns were being listened to, but this brief truce appears to have broken down.
Following the sit-in at the Talbot Street branch on Monday, workers at the Coolock shop are staging a fresh sit-in over “broken promises.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Larry O’Toole visited the workers on Wednesday, and said that “workers were down and disillusioned.”
“I went down to visit the workers to show my support,” the Artane-Whitehall councilor said, and told Dublin People that the examiner hired to look at the company’s finances will be back in court next Tuesday.
Joined the Coolock Iceland workers on their sit in this morning. It’s disgraceful how these employees are being treated. RALLY THIS EVENING OUTSIDE TALBOT STREET ICELAND STORE AT 7pm. Please come along and support. pic.twitter.com/gqWejCTZcJAdvertisement
— Councillor Larry O'Toole (@larryotoolebohs) June 28, 2023
Councillor O’Toole said that the aim of today’s sit-in was to raise awareness about the redundant workers not being able to receive statutory and independent redundancy, with O’Toole noting that some members of staff are not eligible to receive the full amount of redundancy pay as they are regarded as not having worked for the company for an adequate period of time.
“It’s a very bleak situation, and the way these workers are being treated is disgraceful,” the Councillor said, but encouraged people to “show up” at a planned protest at the Talbot Street shop at 7pm on Wednesday evening.
Despite the issue being raised in the Dáil last Thursday, there has been no substantial movement or clarity granted to the nearly 350 workers who have been made redundant nationwide, which is also a factor in the new wave of sit-ins.
The striking workers are being supported by the Independent Workers’ Union in their negotiations.