There have been reports that some workers at Iceland’s supermarkets in Ireland still haven’t been paid since the company went into examinership three weeks ago.
Donegal TD Thomas Pringle said there has been snail-paced action for workers who have been “left high and dry” by the company.
Letterkenny’s Iceland branch at Courtyard Shopping Centre was one of the stores to close its doors at the weekend.
Pringle said that the authorities were quick to impose a food recall on Iceland in June, but slow to intervene on workers’ rights.
Seven workers from Iceland and their union representative from the Independent Workers Union sat the Dáil gallery today.
Deputy Pringle said: “I am horrified to learn how the workers have been treated in recent weeks and I wish to express my solidarity with the workers who have had to endure an extremely difficult couple of weeks with no support and no communication from their employers. It is absolutely disgraceful. There have been reports that the company has unilaterally changed their employee’s terms and conditions and that some of the workers still haven’t been paid.
“Last month, all imported frozen food of animal origin was very quickly withdrawn from the shelves following a recall under the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, yet when it comes to looking after the rights of the workers, we have been very slow to intervene. It’s the last day before the recess, Tánaiste, so this matter needs to be addressed urgently. More than 400 workers are left without wages due to them, holiday pay and redundancy pay. Surely you will agree that that is unacceptable,” he said.
The deputy raised the issue during questions on policy or legislation.
Deputy Pringle said: “How will you assist the Iceland workers and how are you going to ensure that all workers will be paid as soon as possible?”
In his response, the Tánaiste, Micheál Martin, said it was unacceptable for workers to be treated as Deputy Pringle described. He said that employees have a right to refer a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission and that an examinership has been appointed, and the processes have to be gone through.