Yesterday was an important day in the battle between ex-Debenhams workers and liquidator KPMG. The courts ruled in favour of the liquidator’s request for an injunction. Carol Bridgeman, who had been named in KPMG’s affidavit, entered the courts to defend herself and all of her colleagues on the picket line. In less than an hour, the judge granted the injunction, meaning anyone stopping trucks or preventing stock from leaving the building could receive a court summons. Alongside Carol, Waterford strikers Stephen Troy and Denis O’Brien were named by KPMG, and were both present outside the courts today along with other strikers to protest and support her.
“We will keep fighting.”
It has become clear that the establishment is on the side of the liquidators, but public support for the strike has been deafening. The response to our protest and subsequent march back to the Henry Street store proves that working-class people continue to support us. Despite today’s result, the picket lines will remain strong, and we urge as many people as possible to show their support. The only way that we can win this fight is by rallying together, alongside the wider trade union movement to pressure KPMG into re-entering talks with Mandate. The judge today echoed the Taoiseach’s sentiment that the liquidators must reopen negotiations but they would rather attempt to criminalise workers than return to the table.
The next few weeks will be extremely important. KPMG will increase their attempts to get trucks past the picket lines. When the trucks do appear, we will be standing there as we have been. We ask as many people as possible to do the same. After 6 months of struggle, we refuse to back down now, not until our redundancy agreement has been fulfilled.