Interview with Worker occupying La Senza, Liffey Valley
Can you explain how you’ve been treated by your former employer?
We’ve been treated like dogs. The company hid behind the smokescreen of KPMG and said that we weren’t going into liquidation. We worked Stephen’s Day, Christmas Eve, New Years Eve because we were told that we would get paid, losing out on time with our family at Christmas. They lied to us, led us along, said we weren’t closing down. They said, “There’s a contingency” plan and not to worry. We were cheerful, nice to the customers and so on when all this was going on. But the reality is that all along they must have known that we were closing down, and that we wouldn’t get our wages!
What are you and the other workers demanding?
We want our wages and our overtime for the last month and a half. We want our time in lieu and we want the holiday pay that we are owed. They kept lying to us so that we wouldn’t leave. They withheld information from us so we wouldn’t leave the shop at Christmas and now they’re just kicking us to the kerb.
Are you getting much support?
A man that none of us knows put 50 euro under the shutter. Everyone’s been cheering, giving us the thumbs up. The response has been great. It’s like with the guys down in Cork [Vita Cortex, workers’ sit in], we’re all the in same boat and something has to be done. Hopefully this can also give them more support and publicity.
What inspired you to occupy?
We thought we could do a similar thing to what they’ve done in Cork. And when it happened we just said that we’re not leaving, because we’ve been treated with such injustice.