Date Released: 05 January 2016
SIPTU has reiterated its support for the demands of the Justice for the Clerys Workers campaign which include a meeting between Natrium, the store’s new owners, and representatives of its former employees as well as a change to company law to ensure other workers do not have to endure a similar situation.
SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Ethel Buckley, said: “The impact on workers and their families of the sudden closure of Clerys was evident in the documentary which was broadcast on RTÉ One last night (Monday, 4th January). It is the nature of business that companies may on occasion close and in recent years SIPTU Organisers have unfortunately become accustomed to dealing with employers in such situations.
“However, it is the manner in which Clerys was shut down, with its new owners paying no regard to a loyal workforce and leaving the costs of their redundancies with the State that marks this episode out as one of the most shameful in recent decades.”
She added: “SIPTU remains committed to the Justice for the Clerys Workers campaign. Its aims now include working with politicians and stakeholders to ensure that when a redeveloped Clerys is opened it is operated in accordance with the principles of the SIPTU Working City Initiative which includes the provision of decent jobs paying a living wage.”
SIPTU activist and former Clerys worker, Gerry Markey, said: “Clerys was bought by a consortium of property speculators, Natrium, on 12th June 2015. 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: “We are calling on the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, to adopt a law proposed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions that would ensure that such a situation could not happen again. We will also continue campaigning until the new owners of the store treat us with the respect we deserve and meet with us to explain their actions.”