The Irish Congress of Trade Unions notes the outcome of the Mandate members Debenhams ballot whereby the proposals issued by Kevin Foley were rejected.
Congress has worked very closely with Mandate Trade Union over the last number of months to assist Mandate and its members reach an acceptable resolution to this protracted dispute.
It must be remembered that these workers have been treated outrageously by their employer who sought to exploit a global pandemic and walk away from its obligations to its employees, many of whom have given a lifetime of loyal service to the company.
We have led meetings in conjunction with Mandate Trade Union with the Tanaiste, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Retail, and a range of senior public officials to try to break the impasse. We have previously made reasonable and practical proposals that we believe could assist the resolution of this dispute.
This dispute continues and needs to be resolved as soon as possible by way of an outcome that is fair to the workers and adequately addresses their concerns.
We believe that Mandate has made an assessment as to why the Foley proposals were rejected and proposals from Mandate must now be considered by Government in order to bring this long-running dispute to an end. Lessons will also need to be learned and legislation will need to be enacted that ensure such a situation never happens to workers in Ireland again.