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Clerys workers need real and immediate supports -Tóbín

16 June, 2015

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has today sought a Dáil debate on the on the sudden closure of Clerys and the resulting disgraceful treatment of the department stores workers and concession holders.

The Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson said:

“The manner in which Clerys was suddenly closed on Friday and the subsequent treatment of its workforce and concession holders has been nothing short of disgraceful. 

“Neither the former or the new owners of Clerys have met with workers and this kind of hands-off attitude to staff, some of whom have given decades of service to the department store, is not only shabby, it’s bad business. Whilst KPMG may be dealing with the liquidation of the stores operating company, the fact remains that one outfit sold Clerys and another bought it, and in both instances their treatment of staff and businesses operating out of the store will be equally unacceptable to the business community and trade union movement alike.

“It now appears that the 130 direct staff will only receive their statutory entitlements and P45s, and the special liquidators have yet to outline what if any provision will be made for the 330 staff employed by the concession holders, or indeed the €5 million owed to them in stock and direct sales cash.

“Concession holders have called on the special liquidators to release their stock which they have valued at €3 million, and the €2 million owed to them in direct cash sales. Businesses have been hit with a double whammy of the sudden cessation of trading at the department store and the withholding of significant stock and cash. 

“This is an incredibly precarious position for both the workers and the businesses operating out of Clerys, and the lack of information forthcoming is completely unacceptable. Employees are owed holiday pay, wages and some are even owed money for goods they put down deposits on in the store. Concession holders need their stock and cash back, it’s that simple. 

“Government statements over the last few days are to be welcomed but tea and sympathy must not be confused with real action. Workers need real and immediate supports. P45s must be provided as a matter of urgency so that workers can access social welfare entitlements and these claims must be processed speedily by the Department of Social Protection. Training and education supports must also be set out and provided for. Crocodile tears are of little value to workers who have kids to feed and mortgages to pay.” 

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