SIPTU Organiser, Niall McNally, said: “These workers, who are members of SIPTU, were told in a conference call this morning that their jobs were gone. Not only is this immoral but it also flies in the face of the legal guidelines which govern a collective redundancy situation.
“When it comes to industrial relations law ignorance is not a defence. SIPTU representatives are today writing to the management of Debenhams outlining the manner in which they have breached industrial relations law and calling for the immediate reinstatement of these workers.
“Management must postpone any redundancies until a full consultation with representatives of the workers takes places. During this process we will seek to agree a strategy which will retain these jobs. In the event that this employer does not engage with our union we will seek legal redress and consult with our members as to any further actions.”
He added: “SIPTU representatives are also in the process of contacting our members in Debenhams stores across Northern Ireland to ascertain if they have been dealt with in a similar gung-ho and illegal manner.”