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490 workers at Arcadia-owned shops in Ireland set to be made redundant

Opposition TDs have said action must be taken to avoid “another Debenhams situation”.

Arcadia is the group behind retailers such as Topshop
Arcadia is the group behind retailers such as Topshop
Image: Leah Farrell

JUST UNDER 500 retail workers employed by Arcadia Group’s Irish outlets, which includes the likes of Topshop, Evans and Miss Selfridge, are to be made permanently redundant. 

It’s understood that liquidators from Deloitte Ireland told Mandate trade union officials today of the 490 permanent losses.

Arcadia had provisional liquidators appointed to four of its Irish companies in November. It followed the collapse of its UK parent into administration, throwing the future of 13,000 jobs across the two islands into jeopardy.

Over a dozen stores continued to trade in the run up to Christmas, but shut again following the reimposition of Level 5 restrictions. 

Speaking last month, Mandate national co-ordinator Jonathan Hogan said that it was “too early to say” if the situation might deteriorate into a dispute akin to the row over the liquidation of Debenhams’ Irish business.

“But we’re hoping it’s not going to be and the first indications from my conversations with Deloitte are that they’re committed to an open and transparent process. We’d be hopeful that we can work through this process.”

In a statement this evening, Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly urged the government to step into ensure it didn’t become “another Debenhams situation”. 

She 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.

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“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.”

This was echoed by People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith. 

She said: “Like the Debenhams workers these workers have a collective agreement providing for enhanced redundancy payments of four weeks per year of service, inclusive of statutory redundancy. Like the Debenhams workers they should be paid their 2 plus 2.

“In these extraordinary times the government has taken extraordinary measure to support businesses, some of whom remain profitable. I am now calling for a fund to established to pay these workers what they are due.”

About the author:

Sean Murray

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