THE Government has been called on to do all it can to save the more than 400 jobs that will be lost as a result of the closure of shopping catalogue retailer Argos’ Irish operation, including its unit on the Childers Road in Limerick City.
Argos, which is owned by UK supermarket group Sainsbury’s, closed its store at Cruises Street in the city centre in 2020 and a second outlet at the Crescent shopping centre in 2022.
The remaining 35 Irish stores will remain open to customers until June 24. Customers in Ireland will no longer be able to pay for orders through the Argos website or place orders through its home delivery service after March 22.
Speaking in the Dáil earlier today, Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan said the news that Argos is to close its stores across the State is an incredible blow for the company’s Irish workforce, their families, their communities, and for the retail sector in Ireland.
“As it’s the company’s intention to shut down its complete operations, this amounts to a collective redundancy which requires a 30-day consultation period. It is essential that they engage quickly and in good faith with the Mandate trade union during this time,” he added.
“Employment Minister Simon Coveney must meet with Argos and Mandate to see if there is any prospect to save the jobs, and failing that, he must ensure the company engages with Mandate so the best possible redundancy deal can be achieved for the workers
“The Retail Forum must meet as a matter of urgency to see if there is any possibility of the workers being reemployed elsewhere. Retail is changing, but that does not mean that the government should abandon traditional retail by doing nothing.
“The workers in Argos must be the priority here and it is imperative that the government stands up for them. I raised this directly with the Tánaiste today and he gave a commitment that they would meet the Trade Unions and I want that meeting to happen as a matter of urgency,” Deputy Quinlivan concluded.