WORKERS AT A Target Express depot in Cork who are holding a sit-in protest at the facility over the shock announcement yesterday that the company was ceasing trading are calling for ‘clarity’ on their situation.
Spokesperson for the 16 protesting workers Thomas Cullen told TheJournal.ie this evening that the first they had heard about their jobs being lost was on the news yesterday.
“We turned up for work yesterday and we clocked in as usual, we delivered the freight, and then we found out on the news that the company is not trading any more,” he said. “The jobs are gone, that’s it.”
“The reason we took this action is to highlight the rights of the 390 works throughout Ireland and the UK. We’re basically being shown nil respect by the company.”
Cullen said that workers were not contacted by the company ahead of the announcement it would cease trading and that they were sent an email from management this morning saying that a receiver would be coming in who would serve them their P45s:
We feel abandoned because there’s no dialogue directly with ourselves – there’s nobody saying here’s your wages or this is what you’re entitled to.
He added that the workers feel the government should have learned lessons from the Vita Cortex sit-in and that it now needs to step in quickly to resolve the issues and uncertainty surrounding the Target Express workers.
The workers’ families and the local community have been showing strong support throughout the first day of their sit-in, with the local Centra proprietor “providing a basket of shopping to see us through the night”, Cullen said.
Cullen also told TheJournal.ie that the 16 workers at his depot have heard from colleagues in Galway, Limerick, Carlow and Dublin who are planning on holding protests over the job losses.
Earlier today, Target Express owner Seamus McBrien criticised the Revenue Commissioners over the way it handled the company’s case. He said that the company owed the Revenue over €300,000 and paid €214,000 last Monday. He said that the Revenue wanted a further €80,000 by Wednesday but he said he would pay it on Friday.
When the payment was not made on Wednesday, an attachment order was put on the company accounts. Yesterday, it was reported that the company was ceasing trading, with the loss of 390 jobs across its Irish and UK operations.
Today, the Revenue Commissioners refused to comment on the case specifically, but said:
In general, cases are referred by Revenue for enforcement where a taxpayer or business has failed to comply with the obligation to pay tax that is due and where there are no satisfactory proposals towards addressing the debt.
In every case, prior to enforcement action by Revenue, the taxpayer or business will have been informed that continuing non-compliance is likely to result in enforcement action.