Irish HMV staff say sit-in protest will continue overnight

image captionHMV has struggled to compete against online rivals

Staff at two HMV shops in the Republic of Ireland plan to continue sit-in protests overnight after the closure of the chain's 16 outlets in the country.

The workers at the two Limerick shops are attempting to secure the payment of wages they are owed.

The music and DVD firm's operation in the Irish Republic, which employs 300 people, has been put into receivership.

"We've not heard anything, so we're bunking down for the night," one of the shop workers told the BBC.

HMV's main UK business, including 10 stores in Northern Ireland, is continuing to trade in administration.

The retailer has 223 UK stores in total, and a workforce of about 4,000.

HMV's administrator, accountancy group Deloitte, said it would try to sell the Irish shops.

Deloitte, which has also been appointed receiver of HMV's business in the Republic of Ireland, said that the 16 store closures followed "a request from the directors [of HMV]" to close down the Irish operation.

"All efforts will be made by the receiver to secure a purchaser for the [Irish] stores," added Deloitte.

A member of staff at HMV's Limerick Crescent store said earlier on Thursday that he and his colleagues had held an initial meeting with officials from Deloitte, but that the sit-in would continue as no satisfactory agreement had been reached.

The man, who declined to give his name, said: "We are owed wages, and holiday and lieu time and the like. We want written confirmation that we will get what we are owed.

"More importantly, we want to get the shop reopened, we are a profitable store with fantastic staff.

"The receivers have been very reasonable with us so far, but the sit-in will continue until we get written confirmations."

Well wishers

Later on Thursday evening a female member of staff said they did not now expect to hear any news until Friday morning at the earliest, "so we're staying here until then at least".

She added: "The locals have been really great, bringing us food and drink, and wishing us well."

HMV's main UK business went into administration on Tuesday. It had struggled for a number of years against growing competition from online rivals, supermarkets, and illegal downloads.

Under administration, a company can continue to operate, with the aim of securing a deal with its creditors and securing its future as a going concern.

Receivership, by contrast, is a process started by a company's bank, or other creditor, who has lost confidence in a firm's ability to repay its debts. Receivers are appointed to the company in question, with the aim of selling assets so the creditors can recover their money, or some of it.

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