Irish HMV staff end sit-in protests


HMV staff at two Limerick outlets and stores in Cork and Tallaght have ended sit-ins in the stores after receiving guarantees from the receivers Deloitte last night.

It is understood staff were told they would be paid at the end of this week. It is unclear if this payment includes redundancy.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins criticised Deloitte for their treatment of HMV's staff in the Republic and and alleged pressure was applied to workers occupying

stores in Limerick, Cork and Tallaght.

Mr Higgins claimed those involved in the sit-ins were told no wages or overtime would be paid to all Irish employees if the occupations continued beyond 3pm yesterday.

He said Deloitte reportedly told staff to apply to the Department of Social Protection for redundancy payments and holiday pay owed. A spokesman for Deloitte could not immediately be reached for comment.

About a dozen members of staff occupied one unit at the Crescent Shopping Centre on the outskirts of the city and 14 others held a sit in at the Cruises Street branch in the city.

The news comes as entertainment giants including Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony are reportedly considering plans to offer HMV suitors generous credit terms and cut the price of CDs and DVDs to help keep HMV?s presence on the high street.

They are fearful the demise of HMV - the last specialist music and entertainment retail chain - will lead to even more pressures on the industry as supermarkets and online firms.

It is thought turnaround group Hilco - which already owns HMV Canada - is currently among the favourites to rescue HMV and is said to have been locked in talks with administrators Deloitte over the weekend.

At stake is the group?s 92-year-old heritage, more than 4,120 jobs and 223 stores. In the Republic it has 16 outlets and just under 300 staff.

But there are around 50 potential suitors circling HMV and its chief executive Trevor Moore has said he is ?convinced? that the chain?s future can be secured.

Other potential bidders are thought to include private equity firm Endless, which is the group that bought The Works out of administration, and private equity veteran Jon Moulton through his Better Capital firm.

Hilco has already helped turn around sales at HMV?s Canadian arm since it bought the business in 2011.

It is best known for its recent rescue of the furnishings group Habitat, while it also owns the Denby pottery firm.

Additional reporting PA