HMV staff furious as liquidation denies them redundancy pay
Published 10/09/2016 | 02:30
HMV staff are outraged after the company went into liquidation the night before they were due to receive redundancy pay.
The stores have closed their doors once again, three years after they were handed a lifeline by investment company Hilco Capital.
The music chain went into liquidation on Thursday night, meaning staff did not receive the redundancy packages they were expecting yesterday.
Staff will have to apply through the Government's Insolvency Payments Scheme to get the money they're owed.
"All employees' entitlements, such as holiday pay and redundancy, are protected by the State, and claims will be progressed as soon as a liquidator has been appointed," a spokesperson for Hilco said.
The Department of Social Protection will now handle any such claims.
Disgruntled HMV worker Robyn Long said: "I'm sickened by it. I've been through this before and it takes months and months to get what we are owed.
"But that's not even the big issue - the real issue is that we were promised in a letter from the company that we would be paid today (Friday).
"But they silently put the company into liquidation, knowing we would have no leverage.
"Once the company goes into liquidation it isn't responsible for our money. We have no jobs now and we won't see our money this side of Christmas."
She added: "I'm literally broke. Everyone that was working there was counting on this money. One of the staff members is getting married tomorrow.
"If they had said from the beginning that we had to go through the Government insolvency fund, then fine, but they've been feeding us stories for weeks."
Limerick Councillor Cian Prendiville of the Anti-Austerity Alliance described the action as "pure gangster capitalism".
"The lesson for other workers is that they must be organised, and take action, like the HMV (Cruises Street) workers did before in occupying their shop. We must demand an end to this and changes to the law to prevent bosses treating their workers like this," he added.
Limerick rappers The Rubberbandits also took to Twitter, stating "Irish HMV staff are getting f***ed over."
In February 2013, Deloitte Ireland announced that HMV's then-16 stores in Ireland were to close permanently with the loss of 300 jobs.
Hilco then stepped in, successfully negotiating with landlords and suppliers to re-open stores. However, the company then decided it needed to move towards more digital-based business as it looks to compete with services such as Netflix, announcing its plans to close the remaining stores in July.
Sales of physical CDs and films have been decimated with the arrival of online services like Netflix and Spotify.
Hilco closed down Xtra-Vision in Ireland earlier this year.
Larry Howard, Managing Director of Hilco, was unavailable for comment.