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Burton plays to the gallery and contradicts Nash on the Clerys debacle – Tóibín

8 July, 2015

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has described comments made by the Labour party leader at the ICTU conference on the Clerys debacle as empty in spirit and intent, adding that Labours handwringing will be of little consolation or use to the workers and concession holders who have been left high and dry.

The Sinn Féin Jobs Spokesperson said:

“Speaking at ICTUs conference today, Labour leader Joan Burton described the Clerys debacle as predatory capitalism; yet just yesterday her Junior Minister Ged Nash in his report on the sale and liquidation of Clerys stated the view that there are no are deficiencies in the legislative framework arising from the debacle. 

“Minister Ged Nash’s report sets out in great clarity the well-worn path used by Gordon Brothers to separate Clerys trading and property interests in 2012, as well as the expected legal manoeuvrings by the new owners. 

“In playing to the gallery at the ICTU conference today, the Tánaiste told delegates that she will use every legal avenue to claw back the millions the state will now have to pay out in statutory redundancies. 

“Even if Joan Burton makes good on this commitment, and it’s not clear how this can be achieved, neither she nor her government colleagues have expressed any intention to tackle head on the shortfalls in company law that allows Directors break the link between assets and their responsibilities  to their employees. 

“Gordon Brothers buying Clerys were not the first company in Ireland to separate the assets of the business by setting up multiple companies, with staff employed by the trading company and unless government amends the Companies Act 2014, they won’t be the last.” 

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