Barbara Muldoon, an anti-racism campaigner from Belfast, is facing criminal charges for taking pa
Shebeen Chic workers fight back
Bar and Restaurant Shebeen Chic on Georges Street has been served an eviction notice by the high court for Monday October 10th 2011. This will result in the loss of 21 jobs due to a dispute between the landlords Kenneally McAuliffe and owner Jay Bourke. Staff say that some will receive statutory redundancy even though many have worked there since the bar opened in 2008 and have built the business from the ground up and into profit this year. Its the only business in that location in many years that has been succesful and during a recession.
It will also mean that dj's, musicians, entertainers and small traders will loose a venue.
Jeremy a bartender originally from New Zealand at Shabeen Chic says: “...its not just the 21 staff that run this bar that will be affected but also these guys here that play on a regular basis its their living as well. Its just unnecessary...there's no reason for it.”
Ali a Tarot Reader who performs at the venue says: “Like a lot of the performers, entertainers and artists here I'll really miss this venue due to landlord greed. Essentially it seems to me that the land owners are not interested in resolution, bank intervention or accepting our rent but only in seizing a property where one can only presume their motivation is to run a growing concern for themselves. I think in a time of recession people need to back people. I think Shabeen is one of the places on the planet that has a heart, a sense of family and it will be an absolute disgrace and indictment on our country if this place goes”
According to manager Orlagh Murphy there has been an ongoing dispute between landlord/tenant over the last two years which resulted in a High Court eviction notice in July for January 31st 2012 but was brought forward to October 10 because of late payment of legal fees.
The landlords refused to accept the €30000 in fees 5 days late and brought the eviction notice forward.
Orlagh Murphy says that all avenues to resolve this personal dispute have been exhausted even offering to take over running Shabeen herself with the owners permission as well as more time to find another premise. All in order to save staff jobs.
Kenneally McAuliffe have received €570000 in rent from Shabeen Chic since 2008. Thats over half a million that the landlords didn't lift a finger to earn and will now put 21 people on the dole if they get their way.
We see how much the state and courts back parasitic profit making and property rights in opposition to workers.
But the workers have vowed to fight back. They say they are willing to do whatever it takes to save their jobs including occupation.
On Thursday Oct 6th staff held a small but lively rally outside Shaebeen Chic with supporters and musicians of Shebeen Chic. Musicians played guitars and makeshift drums such as kegs, boxes and even street bollards. Supporters held placards stating “SOS Save Our Shabeen Save our Jobs!”
Cab drivers and delivery drivers honked in support.
Protestors then marched up Georges Street, Grafton Street and to Stephens Green, where many people expressed their support for the workers and signed the petition to keep SC open. In front of the office of Certis, formerly the bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland, staff and supporters chanted “Save our Jobs”. Eventually a letter was delivered on behalf of staff by Orlagh Murphy to the bank manager.
On Sunday October 9, eve of the eviction notice, staff say they are going to operate as normal and then plan to lock in at cloing time and to stay until the landlords agree to deal with them.
In 2009 Thomas Cook workers occupied their workplace on Grafton Street for five days when TC managers flew in from the UK and gave immediate notice that the Dublin office would be closed.
No notice was given and only statutory redundancy was on offer. The workers would not accept this. A special sitting on a bank holiday monday of the high court handed down an injuction for the workers to leave the premises but the workers stayed on. They were eventually removed by heavy handed Garda and one went into labour because of the stress. However the Thomas Cook workers won their redundancy demands as well as a lump sum cash payoff.
The Shebeen Chic workers can also win if they occupy. Occupation is the most effective way to fight landlords and bosses that want to make us pay for their crisis. Its in all workers interests to stand in solidarity with the Shebeen Chic workers and that they win to keep their workplace open and keep their jobs.
Victory to the Shebeen Chic workers!
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