SACKED haulage workers at the tax debt-ridden company Target Express have vowed to continue a sit-in at depots until they get unpaid wages.

Seamus McBrien, the chief executive, claimed he was forced to cease trading after Revenue Commissioners froze its accounts and refused to strike a deal on money owed.

It is understood he is planning to issue further details on the state of the business today.

But employees up and down the country have reacted angrily amid claims they heard about the closure on news bulletins and have only had one contact with management – to tell them to leave premises.

David O’Gorman, one of up to 18 workers who occupied the Cork depot, said they have had no contact bar one email and a phone call from the company.

“We’re staying here until we get paid,” he said.

“We were contacted by the regional manager. All he had to say was ‘Leave. There’s no money. It’s pointless staying there’.

“No-one has told us anything. We’re like everyone else, waiting for the update, we have a TV here so we’ll probably find out on the news.”

Sit-ins are also taking place in Galway. Some employees are owed two weeks wages and none in Cork have been given their P45s meaning they cannot sign on for the dole.

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

Revenue has refused to discuss the Target Express tax liabilities specifically. But it defended its action, saying that cases are only referred for enforcement where a taxpayer or business fails to pay tax that is due.

Target Express, the main sponsor of Tyrone GAA, had depots across the north and south of Ireland and forecast a profit of 1.6 million euro this year.

It was named distributing company of the year last November and held several large contracts, including with the A Wear clothes chain and Smyths toy store.

Mr McBrien maintains that his firm paid one million euro to tax chiefs in the last six to eight weeks and another 214,000 euro on Monday.

He claimed that another 80,000 euro was ordered by Wednesday and that his account was frozen on Thursday, despite the money being promised by Friday.

He said he has 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.

The Irish Road Haulage Association warned that another six firms employing thousands of people will be gone by Christmas unless the Government stems the tide of increasing fuel prices and use of laundered diesel in the sector.