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McDonald calls for Dail debate on La Senza redundancies

11 January, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Fein Vice President Mary Lou McDonald has this morning submitted a request to the Ceann Comhairle to hold an urgent Topical Issue debate on the 93 redundancies at La Senza in Dublin and Cork. The call comes as La Senza workers enter their third day of an occupation of the Liffey Valley retail store.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The treatment of the 93 workers at La Senza made redundant this week is unacceptable. It is unacceptable for workers to be told on a Monday morning that they no longer have a job. It is unacceptable for the employer to withhold wages and overtime for hours worked. It is unacceptable for employees to be left with no redundancy package by their employer.

“La Senza has been in difficulty for some time. However the Dublin and Cork outlets were busy during the Christmas and New Year sales. While the long term future of the shops may have been uncertain there is simply no excuse for the workers to be treated in this way.

“Adequate notice of redundancy should have been given. December wages and overtime should have been paid on time. An adequate redundancy package should have been put in place for all staff to assist them in the difficult transition to unemployment.

“The company should also have engaged in discussions with staff and their union representatives earlier to try and save as many jobs as possible.

“Instead La Senza has treated its hard working staff deplorably. It has trampled all over their rights. Despite staff working long hours over the holidays they are being treated in an unfair and unacceptable manor.

“I strongly support the decision by the staff to occupy the Liffey Valley retail outlet. Their demands are reasonable and justified. They are simply asking to be paid for the hours that they worked and to be treated with respect. Any right minded person would support such demands.

“I understand that the workers trade union representatives in Mandate are meeting the administrators this morning to try and address the outstanding issues. I hope the meeting is positive. However if it is not the Government must intervene to secure the rights and entitlements of these employees.

“A worrying trend seems to be emerging in which workers rights and being trampled on. In Vita Cortex in Cork and now La Senza in Dublin and Cork basic standards of decency are not been met. There is clearly a need for the Government to step in in both of these cases not only to resolve the matter for those directly affected but also to send a clear signal to employers that such behaviour will not be tolerated.” ENDS

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