Dunnes shuts up shop after row over access door
DUNNES Stores has closed its Gorey outlet after a row over an access door.
The retail giant shut up shop in the Co Wexford town on Thursday night without any warning to customers or the 110 staff.
A sign was placed on the door saying the store would close with immediate effect.
It is understood the company has been in dispute with the management of Gorey Shopping Centre where Dunnes has been the anchor store since last November.
Both parties were embroiled in a bitter row after Dunnes opened a doorway directly into the store from the carpark, bypassing the shopping centre's main entrance.
In a letter to other tenants at the centre, managing agents Bannon Property Consultants said the closure was the result of a court injunction forcing Dunnes to close the door.
"As you are aware, Dunnes Stores opened a door leading directly to the surface car park last November," read the letter.
"The net effect of opening the door was that customers could bypass the smaller traders on the mall and it was a clear breach of the lease obligations.
"Dunnes Stores were asked to close the door on numerous occasions but refused to engage on the issue.
"To protect the business of the smaller traders in the mall the receiver (Grant Thornton) sought an injunction to force Dunnes Stores to close the door.
"An injunction was granted on Thursday, May 21, pending a formal arbitration hearing."
The Mandate trade union, which represents many of the Dunnes Stores workforce, said the chain is using the livelihoods of more than 100 workers in a protest against the injunction.
Mandate general secretary John Douglas said the company's behaviour is "despicable and grossly irresponsible".
"There are 100 families in Wexford who have no idea whether they'll have a job next week or not," he said.
"This shows the level of contempt Dunnes Stores have for their own staff and the arrogance they have when it comes to abiding by the laws of the land."
Workers were yesterday told to show up for work as normal despite the store being closed.
One employee, who did not want to be named, said management told everyone that "their jobs were safe".