Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Sunday, 2 August 2009 16:38 UK

Sit-in remains after court order

Thomas Cook staff are staging a sit-in in the Dublin office
Around 40 workers, including two pregnant women, have staged a protest at the store

Workers at a Thomas Cook travel agency in Dublin are continuing a sit-in at the premises despite being served with a court order asking them to leave.

About 40 workers have occupied the Grafton Street premises since the firm announced the immediate closure of its two Dublin offices at midday on Friday.

The workers are seeking an improved redundancy package.

Another eight people are staging a sit-in at a Thomas Cook subsidiary, Direct Holidays in Talbot Street.

The protesting workers at Thomas Cook were served with a temporary High Court injunction on Saturday. It is understood the court will hear the matter in full on Monday.

Management at Thomas Cook shut its two Dublin stores a month ahead of schedule, claiming they wanted to minimise any disruption.

The cuts will not affect operations in Northern Ireland.

The Grafton Street store was closed a month early
The Grafton Street store was closed a month early

In May, the travel company announced it was shutting its High Street operation in Ireland.

Some 77 jobs are to be axed with the closure of the two Thomas Cook branches as well as the Direct Holidays outlet, although the latter is not due to shut until the end of the summer.

Thomas Cook insisted it would maintain its Irish business at its back office and call centre operation in Parkwest, Dublin with 70 positions being retained.

The company said it was offering five weeks per year of service as a redundancy package, which will drop to two weeks if the workers do not accept it.

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