Date Released: 18 September 2015
Former Clerys workers and their supporters protested outside the department store on O’Connell Street, Dublin, at lunchtime today (Friday, 18th September) to highlight their demand that the new owners of the business meet with them.
The workers are calling on the directors of Natrium, a consortium that bought the store in June, to meet them and explain their decision to liquidate the business resulting in over 400 job losses.
Former Clerys worker and SIPTU Shop Steward, Gerry Markey, said: “It has been 15 weeks since the store was closed without notice. The sudden closure of the store caused massive distress to the workers, their families and Clerys customers.
“Natrium has treated us appallingly while it has made millions of euros out of this deal. We will maintain our protest campaign until Deirdre Foley and the other directors of Natrium meet us face-to-face and explain their actions.”
SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, and ICTU General Secretary, Patricia King where among those who attended the protest.
Patricia King said: “For as long as the Clerys workers are denied justice they will have my support and the support of Congress. The injustice done to them is a stain on our society and the actions of Natrium represent a new low in corporate behaviour.”
She added: “I would once again urge Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, to amend company law as proposed by Congress to ensure that any directors who act in this manner are disqualified. We are very disappointed at his failure to move on this to date.”
SIPTU Organiser, Robert Purfield, said: “These workers will not be giving up their campaign until the new owners of Clerys meet them. The workers have been protesting weekly outside the registered offices of Natrium in Dublin and Clerys since its closure in June. They will be maintaining this protest and intensifying their campaign in the coming weeks.”
A petition, written and online, in support of the workers' call to meet the new owners has already received over 19,000 signatures.