Forever 21 blasted by trade union as closure looms

by Dublin Gazette

A Trade union has hit out at American retailer Forever 21 for denying their workers representation by a union following news of the closure of their Dublin store.

 

Mandate Trade Union have accused clothing store Forever 21 of refusing to engage with the union to negotiate redundancy packages for their workers.

 

The store announced in early January that it’s due to shutter its only Irish store – at Jervis Shopping Centre – following reported accumulated losses of €44m up to February 2016.

 

Around €11m is reported to be set aside for lease exit and redundancy costs for staff, though Mandate have said that Forever 21 ‘appear’ to only be imposing a minimum statutory redundancy of two weeks per service.

 

 

Forever 21 was expected to close its doors on January 5 after eight years on Henry Street; hoewver at the time of going to print, there continues to be an ongoing ‘closing down’ sale in the city centre shop.

 

It has also been alleged that workers have not been given an exact date for when the store will close.

 

John Douglas, general secretary of Mandate, said: “Losing your job is one of the most traumatic experiences a worker can go through. It’s at difficult times like this that workers need the support of their trade union and their right to be represented by that trade union on a collective basis.

 

“Yet, in Ireland, multinational companies like Forever 21 refuse to collectively engage with their 80 Irish workers, adding more stress to an already upsetting experience.”

 

Tara Keane, Mandate divisional organiser, said that multiple calls on Forever 21 to meet with Mandate have been refused.

 

She said: “The company has taken a very aggressive stance in refusing representation for heir staff.

 

“Staff had to go through a very difficult consultation process alone. When their designated representative arrived to represent them in the store, the representative was removed by senior management.”

 

Keane added it is “deeply concerning” that Forever 21 are refusing their staff professional representation.

 

Members of Mandate working for the retailer are said to be ‘still waiting’ on answers from Forever 21, and ‘basic’ information from the company on their redundancy.

 

Dublin Gazette attempted to contact Forever 21, but had not received a reply by the time of going to print.

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