Thursday, 1 April 2021
Vaccination Programme and Covid-19: Statements
I have a question for the Minister about level 5, following the events last night in Blanchardstown. Four trucks arrived at the Blanchardstown shopping centre just after midnight. Debenhams workers had a tip-off that they were going to come to remove stock and they had to go there from their beds. There was a stand-off for five hours between the drivers of the trucks and the workers, who were women, shop stewards and some supporters. Twenty five gardaí arrived on the scene and after a five-hour stand-off they physically lifted people who were sitting on the ground and carried them to a place that was more than 100 m away from where the trucks were. I was one of the people that was physically removed. That paved the way for the trucks to move the disputed stock and the strike-breaking was carried out.
There are 11 such stores around the country and there is stock in the majority of the stores. There may be attempts to move the stock from those stores tonight, tomorrow, over the weekend or next week. This situation should not be happening. This should not be allowed in level 5: that strike-breakers are allowed to come in, hired by KPMG, to remove stock in an industrial dispute. I have asked the Taoiseach to make it very clear that this should not and cannot happen in level 5, but he has waffled and refused to answer the question. Therefore, I am asking the Minister for Health to answer the question and say that this is ruled out and that they should not be allowed to do this.