Date Released: 17 November 2015
Former Clerys workers spoke directly to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Burton, today (Tuesday, 17th November), concerning his failure to implement a new law to ensure no other workers can lose their jobs in a similar manner.
The workers met the Minister as he passed their regular lunchtime protest outside the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
SIPTU activist and former Clerys worker, Gerry Markey, said: “Clerys was bought by a consortium of property speculators, Natrium, on Friday, 12th June. Following the purchase, Natrium immediately moved to liquidate the store’s operating company without discussions with the employees, including over 130 members of SIPTU, and without making plans for the payment of their outstanding wages or redundancy entitlements.”
He added: “The cost of our redundancy payments had to be eventually met by the State even though the companies involved in what happened to Clerys will make multi-million euro profits out of the deal. We are calling upon the Minister to adopt a law proposed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions that would ensure that such a situation could not happen again.”
Former workers at the iconic department store were joined at today’s protest by organisers from several unions including SIPTU, Mandate and the PSEU.
SIPTU Organiser, Robert Purfield, said: “The minister has been presented with the legislative changes necessary to ensure that what happened to the Clerys workers never happens again. We are calling on the minister to implement these changes to ensure the State and workers are never again left carrying the can for the activities of vulture capitalists.”