Workers in two Irish branches of home media retailer HMV have staged a sit-in over the fear of hundreds of job losses tonight. The move comes after it was announced this week that the chain had gone into administration in the U.K.
Following an investigation by The National Consumer Association into the company stance of not accepting HMV vouchers, staff were told today that the Irish stores were now in receivership. In a statement released earlier today, the NCA said there was no basis for HMV Ireland Ltd to refuse to honour gift vouchers “as the company is not under the protection of the administration or examinership process”.
Receivership in Ireland is worse than the going into administration as the stores have done in Britain. A receiver replaces the managing director of a business and is tasked with working out how to pay a company’s debts in a certain amount of time.
Speaking to Krank.ie this evening, staff said they felt sorry for the public and understood how people felt over the voucher situation but that the majority of customers were understanding. 11 staff, including store management, in the HMV branch in The Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick are now staging a sit-in.
They said they were told they were being laid off and would receive pay up until today. They were also told they may be rehired. Staff are now worried they will lose their money and, ultimately, their jobs. HMV employs 300 people in Ireland.
— hmv crescent (@hmvcrescent) January 16, 2013
Shops across the country were closed today as fears mounted this could be the end for the chain. It was announced that Irish 16 shops will remain closed for the immediate future as the receiver for HMV Ireland, David Carson, examines the business and searches for a buyer.
Staff are asking the public to rally behind them and spread their story as they try desperately to secure payment and their jobs. They have also made attempts to contact TDs for help.
You can follow the HMV Crescent account on Twitter @hmvcrescent.
The HMV Cruise Street store sit-in can be followed on Facebook.