Removal of peacefully protesting Irish workers condemned

By staff writers
August 4, 2009

The Unite trade union has condemned the arrest of some 30 Thomas Cook workers peacefully protesting at the company's Grafton Street premises in Dublin, Ireland.

A spokesperson said the development was "a dark stain on the history of industrial relations in Ireland" and lobbying group LabourStart said it was akin to the kind of thing one would expect in a dictatorship, not a democracy.

The workers had been engaged in a protest sit-in at the premises. They were forcibly removed by the Gardaí (police) following a ruling by the High Court ordering them to leave the premises.

“These are ordinary working people standing up for their rights,” said Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly.

“These workers have a right to be treated with respect and for their employer to hold to a standard of engagement that, in this case, has merely been cast aside.”

Thomas Cook is to close its two stores in Dublin, with the loss of more than 70 jobs.

Workers at the Grafton Street premises are arguing for a better redundancy deal from the travel agency.

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