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A sign placed on the front of the store yesterday. Michelle Byrne

Siptu demands 'immediate' meeting with Iceland examiner as Waterford staff face 'forced closure'

According to a sign placed on the front of the store yesterday evening, staff were informed of the closure with ‘only 30 minutes notice’.

LAST UPDATE | 23 Aug 2023

WORKERS AT ICELAND’S Waterford store have staged a sit-in over claims that the store is set to close.

According to the Waterford Council of Trade Unions, staff who are members of Siptu took the action in response to a “sudden closure” of the store despite being owed wages, holiday pay and redundancy pay.

SIPTU has called for an immediate meeting with the examiner responsible for Iceland’s supermarkets in Ireland the issue.

Its organiser for the sector, Mark Flynn, said it followed similar closures at other stores around the country.

“The company has the protection of the courts through examinership, the workers only have their union,” he said.

“SIPTU is determined that these low-paid workers will not be abandoned. We call for an immediate meeting with the examiner to secure their outstanding entitlements and ensure a just resolution.”

A sign placed on the front of the store by workers yesterday evening, staff were informed of a “forced closure” with “only 30 minutes notice”. 

The company’s Irish stores has been mired in uncertainty since they were franchised in February, with 20-plus stores placed into examinership in June

“Iceland SIPTU members have occupied the store on the Cork Road, Waterford city in a response to a sudden closure of their workplace over an hour ago,” the trades council said in its statement. 

“Send messages of support and drop down to the store to show solidarity,” it said, adding that many staff have a number of years service with Iceland.

The company was back before the High Court on Monday where representation for examiner Joseph Walsh outlined that there are up to 150 workers who are owed money by the company.

This was for hours workers without pay and holiday pay, the court heard.

Metron Stores, the operator of the Ireland franchise, also claimed in court that Iceland UK had “swept away” significant funds before the transfer of ownership in February.

The claim was strongly denied by representation for the UK parent company during Monday’s court sitting.

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