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Axed workers win battle for back pay in La Senza protest

WORKERS who staged a sit-in protest at a lingerie store have won their battle for back pay.

The staff at La Senza were told that they would not receive some of their Christmas pay cheques after the chain went into administration.

However, after five days of protest at the multinational's Liffey Valley outlet, they were told last night that the money would be forthcoming.

The sit-in was called off last night after representatives from the Mandate trade union received a letter from La Senza's administrator, KPMG.

"The girls are delighted that we will be getting our December pay and overtime," Lynn Higgins Gill, one of those occupying the store, said.

"The level of support we got from everyone was overwhelming, it was just fantastic.

"We had three or four main stores and and three in-store shops. There is over 100 [staff] between the seven shops but I understand it's only the Republic of Ireland staff who are getting their money."

The out of work lingerie staff had been campaigning to get their overtime and wages worth up to €1,000 each.

Mandate divisional organiser Michael Meegan said the workers had been "excellent" in the way they conducted themselvers over the past five days.

"It's also very sad in that we have 114 girls and women who are now on the dole. Their jobs are gone," he said.

The staff were satisfied with what KPMG had to say in their letter and decided to end their sit-in, Mr Meegan said.

The workers have been told they will have to claim their redundancy payments through the Government's Insolvency Payments Scheme.

Fine Gael Dublin Mid West Deputy Derek Keating, said the fact that La Senza staff are to be paid their full entitlements was "excellent news and a great result for the workers".

"We must now look at how to ensure that situations like this, where staff are treated in such a deplorable manner, are never again replicated in the future."

Mr Keating said he spent numerous hours in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre this week with the workers

"They showed massive amounts of integrity which really captured the attention of the nation," he said.