Workers disgusted at minimum pay-off offer
Published 23/10/2010 | 05:00
UNEMPLOYED Laura Ashley worker Berry Fleming is among the British chain's former workers who are disgusted at its offer of a minimum legal severance package.
The 22 staff at the store's landmark outlet on Grafton Street in Dublin mounted pickets yesterday after it closed its doors for the last time.
Aged from their 20s to 60s, some of them have 10 years' service with the furniture and clothing chain.
Ms Fleming (40), who has worked at the store for more than seven years, said the company would not move above its basic statutory redundancy offer at a meeting yesterday.
Statutory redundancy amounts to two weeks' pay per year of service, plus an extra week, and employers can claim a 60pc rebate from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation.
"It's going to be a tough Christmas," said Ms Fleming. "My husband is self-employed, and his work is not reliable, and we have a mortgage."
She said staff had been offered the opportunity to apply for 11 jobs at other stores, but would have to start on the lowest rates of pay and on 12- or 16-hour contracts.
The company issued a statement, in which it said: "We are in consultation with our staff to explore alternative employment wherever possible."
A company spokesman declined to comment further when contacted by the Irish Independent last night.