Support the striking Wallis workers

Every effort by workers and MANDATE to force sweatshop owner of Arcadia Group Philip Green meet workers’ demands should be supported.

Responding to the mounting of pickets by workers of the clothes retailers Wallis today in Grafton Street and Blanchardstown Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins said:

“This strike action follows pickets that have been mounted in Limerick for several weeks. It centres around the companies efforts to impose changed conditions and redundancies on the workforce across all branches.

“In doing so they have refused to negotiate with MANDATE around terms of compensation for lost hours arising from restructuring and they have torn up a long standing agreement to pay five weeks salary per year’s service to those they want to make redundant instead offering an amount barely above the statutory minimum.

“This company paid a £92 million dividend to its parent company Arcadia last year.  It is owned by billionaire Philip Green who was exposed by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme in 2010 for his sweatshop factories in Britain where workers slaved in unsafe conditions on half the UK minimum wage.

“The company plan to close the Grafton Street shop this Saturday after which the workers plan to mount pickets on the Jervis Street branch. If any other action is taken by the workers in order to apply pressure on the company I have no doubt it will get widespread support from the working people everywhere.”