Sit-in continues at Limerick HMV shops
Employees staging a sit-in at two HMV branches in Limerick are continuing their protest today in a bid to get unpaid wages due to them.
About a dozen members of staff occupied one unit at the Crescent Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Limerick yesterday afternoon and another 14 staff are staging a sit-in at the Cruises Street branch in the city centre.
Speaking this morning, a store manager at the Crescent Shopping Centre, who identified himself as Chris, said he and his colleagues were seeking assurances that their wages would be paid and that staff would also receive a guarantee about redundancy if the shops are going to close.
“All we want is what we are owed. We would also like to see a buyer come in and take us over and reopen again,” he said. “We are looking for a bit of support from the Irish Government because UK retailers who operate in Ireland should not be able to treat their Irish staff like this.”
The sit-in began after HMV appointed Deloitte as receiver in the Republic.
The company, which has also gone into administration in the UK, issued a statement on Monday night saying it would continue to trade as normal while it sought a buyer. However , it closed all its Irish shops yesterday morning.
“There are 4,200 staff working for HMV in the UK and Northern Ireland going into work this morning and there are 300 staff in the Republic of Ireland who are not going into work,” the Crescent Centre manager said. “There’s a lot of money owed to people who work in…all the stores in the Republic of Ireland. There’s people with family and kids and there’s people with over 10 years service and so on.I think it’s very important that we get at least what we’re owed and some guarantee about redundancy if the shops are going to close.
"The Limerick Crescent shopping centre is a fantastic shopping centre and the Limerick Crescent store is a profitable store. We don’t understand why we’ve been closed down – we had a brilliant December store we had a great year last year and we don’t understand why this store and other stores in Ireland have been …cut adrift."
Staff said they were hoping local Labour TD and Minister of State with responsibility for housing Jan O’Sullivan will visit them at the shop today.
Meanwhile, a number of retailers across the country - including Golden Discs, are accepting void HMV vouchers after it was announced the company will no longer take them.