August 4, 2009 / 8:03 AM / 10 years ago

Protesting former Thomas Cook staff arrested in Dublin

DUBLIN, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Protesting former staff at travel operator Thomas Cook (TCG.L) were arrested on Tuesday after defying a court order to end a four-day sit-in at company premises in a dispute over redundancy payments.

Police said 28 people were removed from a central Dublin office which management said on Friday was to be shut immediately, with the loss of 77 jobs.

Local media said more than 15 police officers broke down the door of the premises and removed the protesters, including a pregnant woman. The former workers will be taken to the high court, which ordered them on Monday to end the protest.

“As far as we’re concerned, whatever happens in court we’ve won our battle,” Wendy Alton, Thomas Cook branch manager, told Newstalk radio.

“It was a peaceful protest, they had to physically remove us. We’ve made our stance and the people of Ireland and Dublin are 110 percent behind us.”

The former staff were seeking an improved redundancy deal which would give them eight weeks per year of service, describing the offer of five weeks as “derisory”. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin, Editing by Dominic Evans)

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