Express sit-in finishes day one
The sit in at the Target Express Depot in Little Island is entering into its first night as 22 workers attempt to recoup two weeks' wages owed to them by the company.
The sit in began this morning at the facility after workers found out their jobs were lost on RTÉ’s Six One news yesterday evening when a receiver was appointed to the company.
399 jobs are to be lost because Revenue Commissioners rejected a plan to pay off the Target Express's debt and froze the company's bank accounts.
Workers are refusing to let any freight in or out of the facility as co-workers in the Galway and Limerick depots are believed to be making their way down to Cork to join the sit-in.
“There has been no dialogue from the company, from any branch of the Government,” said Tom Cullen, one of the spokesmen for the workers.
“We’re just up in limbo and have to be told that our jobs were gone yesterday on the six o’clock news? Wages were not paid last Saturday and we gave them [the company] a bit of leeway. Up until now the only bit of dialogue we have had with the company is that we got a phonecall to say the receiver was coming in and he will take care of the P45’s. Up until then that’s it. No dialogue with the company or with anyone.”
Sinn Fein Councillor Chris O’Leary is with the workers advising them on their options after receiving a phone call this morning to help them.
“If we learned anything from Lagan Bricks and Vita Cortex is that workers have to stand up for their basic rights. Some of them put diesel in their vans to get packages out yesterday and still haven't been paid for that. It’s just appalling.”
Target Express has several big clients including Smyth Toys and A-Wear and they also act as a sponsor to the Tyrone inter-county teams. 300 of the jobs will be lost in the Republic of Ireland while the remaining 100 will go in the North.
Fianna Fáil and Cork South Central TD, Michael McGrath, called on the Revenue Commissioners to show a degree of “forbearance and flexibility when businesses get into genuine difficulties with their taxation obligations.”
“While all the facts of this case are not available, the role of the Revenue in the closure of the business has been severely criticised by the owner of the business. Based on the figures put into the public domain by the owner, many people will justifiably question the overall economic rationale behind Revenue’s decision to shut down the business.”
Deputy McGrath also expressed concern on the length of time workers had not been paid their wages.
The company was founded by Seamus McBrien in 1988 and operates from Mulhuddart in Dublin while there are a number of depots across Ireland including that at Little Island.
Check out this week's Cork Independent for full details.