Target employees end sit-in
Target Express workers at Little Island in Cork have agreed to end their sit-in protest following discussions with liquidators and Government representatives.
Liquidators acting on behalf of Grant Thornton offered to fast track payments owed, including wages and holiday pay.
Redundancy applications will be presented to former staff early next week, with payments expected to take four months to process.
“We made a collective decision after today’s meetings,” workers representative Tom Cullen said.
“Discussions with the liquidator were open, we understood they had a job to do and they expressed what they could do for us. We have been told the first payments will be pushed through in six weeks,” he said.
The agreement was reached following discussions with Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise Sean Sherlock and Labour TD Ciaran Lynch.
“I can guarantee that their due entitlements will be paid and we will do everything possible to ensure that is expedited as soon as possible,” Mr Sherlock said.
Details of payments due to each staff member in Cork were documented with a promise from liquidators to process due payments as quickly as possible.
This process was carried out at all Target Express depots across the country.
Staff in Cork received an assurance that they would receive their P45s on Monday. “We were advised of the role of community welfare officers and the systems in place that can help us. We have families in dire straits,” Mr Cullen said.
The workers began their three-day sit-in on Tuesday having heard that the company had ceased trading on a news bulletin broadcast on Monday night.
On Tuesday they were told by a company director to go home as their was no available funds to pay them.
Target Express ceased trading with the loss of 398 jobs. Managing director Seamus McBrien claimed the Revenue Commissioners forced it out of business in a row over €175,000.
Yesterday, the High Court appointed Michael McAteer and Stephen Tennant of Grant Thornton as provisional liquidators to College Freight, which trades as Target Express.
Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte today described the manner in which the collapse of Target Express has been handled as unacceptable.