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Government must intervene and ensure rights of La Senza workers

12 January, 2012 - by Seán Crowe TD

Speaking in the Dáil this week in support of the La Senza workers, Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe said:

“On Wednesday morning my party colleague Eoin Ó Broin and I visited the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre to meet workers of La Senza who have been treated disgracefully by their employers.

“It is unacceptable for workers to be told on a Monday morning that they no longer have a job and for the employer to withhold wages and overtime for hours worked. It is also unacceptable for employees to be left with no redundancy package by their employer.

“Workers have an absolute right to expect adequate notice of redundancy and December’s wages and overtime should have been paid on time. An adequate redundancy package must be been put in place for all staff to assist them in the difficult transition to unemployment.

“When I met workers out at Liffey Valley and in the Dáil, it was clear they have a great deal of support from local people who are shocked and angered by what has happened.

“One employee who worked for the company for nine and a half years was told on a Monday morning by seven heavies that her job is gone. She received no communication, phone call or e-mail and has still not been informed officially that she no longer has a job

“This company has shown contempt to both its staff and Irish taxpayers by their blatant disregard of the legislation that is there to protect workers’ rights. The government must address this issue and not allow the company to get away with this.

“All of the workers I spoke to who have lost their jobs still have no proof of their redundancy and this presents a difficulty in itself. The only way the workers can prove that they have been made redundant is for trade unions to provide a letter informing the Department of Social Protection of the situation. It highlights the difficulties in this regard and the importance of joining a trade union.

“There is something badly wrong with the existing legislation if workers can be treated in this way. Here we have a company that has already been sold off and the €6.5 million made in profits sent to Britain. All of the La Senza workers I met with had worked overtime and have not been paid. Attempting to get redress through tribunals will be a long, drawn out process considering there is a waiting list of 35,000 people.

“That is wrong and means it could be two years before these people are paid.”

“This is unacceptable and when Sinn Féin raised this in the Dáil this week we made it clear that the government must intervene and support the rights of La Senza workers.” ENDS

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