Date Released: 28 January 2013
Around 400 people braved pouring rain at lunchtime on Saturday, 26th January, to show their support for the Old Darnley Lodge workers in the second week of their sit-in at the Hotel in Athboy, Co. Meath.
Local politicians from all political parties addressed the rally, which called on the hotel's management to ensure the workers receive their statutory entitlements and for the reopening of the business which is key to the town’s economy.
Addressing the crowd SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, said the situation the workers faced was an example of the wider attack on workers' rights that is occurring across Europe.
He said SIPTU will stand “fully behind the workers” until there is a satisfactory outcome to the dispute.
The workers commenced their sit-in following the sudden closure of the hotel on Wednesday, 16th January. The management of the hotel gave only one hour’s notice before its closure and since then has been uncontactable to discuss the workers' statutory entitlements, including redundancy pay, holiday pay and hours owed.
SIPTU Shop Steward, Aideen Andrews who has worked as a receptionist at the hotel for 12 years, said: “The manner in which we, the workers, have been treated is completely unacceptable. This hotel is vital to the local community and we believe if managed properly can be successful.”
“What has happened has been hard on all the workers but we very much appreciate the support we have received from the community and general public.”
SIPTU Organiser, Martin Mannion, said “SIPTU is working to obtain all monies due to the workers and, if possible, assist in resuming the operation of the business.”
He added: “Accountants have been appointed to oversee the liquidation of Mitrespor, the hotel’s management company. I will be meeting with representatives of the accountants to discuss the situation and an upcoming creditors meeting scheduled to take place in the Cavan Crystal Hotel on Tuesday, 5th February”.
The hotel employs approximately 15 full-time and 30 part-time and casual staff, the majority of whom are SIPTU members.