Belfast Telegraph

Sacked haulage workers occupy depot

Sacked haulage firm workers are staging a sit-in after one of the country's largest companies stopped trading with the loss of nearly 400 jobs.

Target Express claimed it was forced to close when Revenue Commissioners froze its accounts and refused to strike a deal on money owed.

But Revenue defended any action, saying that cases are only referred for enforcement where a taxpayer or business fails to pay tax that is due.

Former worker Tom Cullen said around 15 staff are stopping freight leaving the firm's depot in Little Island, Cork, while protests are being staged at other sites around the country.

He said workers, owed two weeks' pay, are angry at the lack of information from both Target Express and Revenue, and raised concerns over claims that managing director Seamus McBrien contacted three Cabinet members who did not intervene.

"We were told this morning from the HR department a receiver will be coming down to sort out our P45," said Mr Cullen.

Mr McBrien claimed his company accounts were frozen on Thursday over a debt of less than half a million euro.

Revenue said it would not comment on an individual case but said action is only taken where there are no satisfactory proposals towards addressing the debt owed.

"In every case, prior to enforcement action by Revenue, the taxpayer or business will have been informed that continuing non-compliance is likely to result in enforcement action," a spokeswoman said.

Mr McBrien said he contacted the offices of Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to make representations but claimed they would not get involved.

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