Ireland: Thomas Cook occupation broken up by police – workers and Socialist Party councillor arrested

Urgent solidarity action needed!

From Saturday, over 40 workers have been occupying the Thomas Cook store on Grafton St., protesting against job losses and claiming for improved redundancies. At approximately 5am this morning, over 80 Gardai began to force entry into the occupied Thomas Cook store on Grafton Street, after physically removing over 30 supporters from in front of the premises. Gardai smashed the glass of the front window of the store in order to gain entry. Workers were removed one by one from the building, including a woman who is eight and a half months pregnant.

Cllr Matthew Waine of the Socialist Party and Cllr Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit were occupying the building in support of the workers and have also been arrested.

Socialist Party councillor Mattew Waine among those arrested

Cllr Matthew Waine of the Socialist Party said: "It is an absolute disgrace that the state have moved to protect the interests of the profiteering multinantional, Thomas Cook by doing their dirty work.

These brave workers have taken a stand, not only for their own rights, but also in the interests of the mass of working people in this country who are getting it in the neck from the government and the employers. I appeal to all workers and unemployed to assemble at 1pm outside the courts in support of these workers."

Cllr Matthew Waine continued : "A woman worker who is due to give birth imminently was removed from the premises by the Gardai.

Shamefully, as she was removed in an ambulance the Gardai refused her request that her husband be present with her. In contrast, Thomas Cook boss, Manny Fontenla-Novoa made a bonus of £7 million last year for his job culling approach – the Irish government have shown clearly yet again they’re shamelessly on the side of the bankers and millionaires".

Thomas Cook workers support group is calling on workers and supporters to roganise protest actions against Thomas Cook and Irish legal authorities.

For further details see this site and

Thomas Cook is the only profitable part of the large German Arcandor shops, mail order and trading group, which declared itself bankrupt last June. Since 2007 Arcandor has owned 52.8% of Thomas Cook, worth about 1bn euros, but the two companies are organisationally separate and it may try to sell Thomas Cook off.

Messages of protest should be sent to the Four Courts and 00 353 1 888 6426.

Messages of support can be sent to the workers via their ’Stop Thomas Cook Shop Closures’ Facebook –

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August 2009