It was a sad day on Grafton Street today as former employees of Wallis Retail (Ireland) Ltd picketed outside its doors in objection to the closure of the chain store.
Tomorrow, 19th October, Wallis, which is a part of the Arcadia multiples Ireland Group, is closing its Grafton Street store and making its staff redundant as part of a deal to sub-let its store to another high street retailer.
According to accounts filed by Wallis, the company recorded a €2.12 million pre-tax loss last year.
The Mandate Trade Union have asked Wallis to adhere to a prior agreement of five weeks redundancy per year worked.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful, what is happening here. Some of us have been here for ten years,” explains Melanie Rooney, a former loyal employee of Wallis on Grafton Street.
“Some of the people here have kids and families to support and we were told last week the shop is closing tomorrow.”
“All we want is for our disputes to be heard to be treated fairly with the respect we deserve.”
The company have also refused an invitation from the State’s industrial body, the Labour Relations Commission, to attend a conciliation conference in an effort to resolve all of the issues in dispute.
This closure is happening is happening despite the group paying a dividend of €92 million to their owners in 2012.
It is to assign its sub-lease to another UK retail chain, Cath Kidston, which specialises in floral print handbags and homeware.