Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

Police break up Thomas Cook sit-in

with one comment

LabourStart is reporting this morning that, at 5am, police broke into the Thomas Cook shop in Dublin where 40 workers have been staging a peaceful sit-in following the company’s decision to close its three retail outlets in Dublin (including a Direct Holidays outlet), announced with immediate effect last Friday, with the loss of 77 jobs (you can read the facts behind the evolution of the dispute, and Thomas Cook’s disgraceful, precipitate actions in The Irish Times here). The 28 workers and union officials present in the shop at the time have been forcibly removed in pursuit of a court order obtained yesterday ordering the end of the four-day action by 7pm last night and the appearance of the staff in court at 2pm today.

RTE reports that one of the 28 involved, a woman eight and a half months pregnant, has now gone into labour and has been taken to hospital.

The workers were taking action over the closure of the stores and the redundancy package offered by the company. Thomas Cook branch manager Wendy Alton told a radio station that, ‘As far as we’re concerned, whatever happens in court we’ve won our battle. It was a peaceful protest, they had to physically remove us. We’ve made our stance and the people of Ireland and Dublin are 110 percent behind us.’ The workers engaged in the sit-in had said that they had no desire to engage in confrontation with the law, but felt they had no choice but to continue their peaceful and orderly protest until Thomas Cook agreed to meaningful negotiations.

The Thomas Cook sit-in is a formal union protest being undertaken by the Transport and Salaried Staffs Association. Gerry Doherty, General Secretary of the TSSA, said on Sunday that, unless the company was prepared to come to an agreement with the union, he would ask the Irish TUC to organise a boycott of Thomas Cook holidays by the 800,000 members of its affiliated unions.

We unreservedly condemn the actions of those involved in securing an end to the occupation in this way.

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Written by Calvin

04/08/2009 at 9:58 am

One Response

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  1. It is outrageous that the law and police intervene when people are fighting to keep their jobs whether it is Thomas Cooks or Vestas on the Isle of Wight where an injunction was granted to the employer today.

    Even so the idea of occupying workplaces to stop job cuts from Waterford glass and Visteon to these current examples is clearly a tactic from the past that is very much back on the union agenda

    keith flett

    04/08/2009 at 10:53 pm


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