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SACKED CLERYS STAFF WANT TALKS ON WAGES; New owners pledge 1,700 jobs but fury at pay fiasco ICONIC Clock.

Byline: BLANAID MURPHY

CLERYS' new owners have vowed to create 1,700 jobs but sacked workers yesterday demanded an urgent meeting over unpaid money.

Natrium, which took over the department store last week, has promised more than 1,000 jobs in construction, design and planning over two years.

A statement read: "On completion a minimum of 1,700 new sustainable long-term jobs will be generated in Dublin city centre."

But the statement said nothing about cash owed to workers including holiday pay and bonuses. And the 130 former workers employed directly by Clerys will only get statutory redundancy.

Siptu's Ethel Buckley said: "We're baffled by the statement. I don't understand what it means. That is why we are calling for a face-to-face with the company.

"Approximately1,000 jobs supported? I would like an explanation as to what that means.

"We have been looking for a meeting since Natrium bought Clerys and all calls have gone ignored."

Siptu's Teresa Hannick added: "Our members' priority is to get money that is owed to them as soon as possible, they have mortgages, they have rent.

"The owner's actions have also caused distress to the workers' families, to customers who have lost money due to orders not being honoured and to concession holders whose livelihoods have also been threatened.

"The statement they released makes some wishy-washy claims about what they intend to do with the store.

"They must realise no one will listen to their hollow words until they meet with the Clerys workers."

Meanwhile, staff staged another protest yesterday and an online petition has been launched in a bid to get the new owners to meet them.

Last Friday, workers were given less than one day's notice that their jobs were gone. Some loyal employees had been at the company for more than 40 years. In the first statement yesterday, the group added: "Natrium recognises that the Clerys building has been a very important institution for generations of Dubliners, and in particular for those who have worked there over the years.

"We are conscious that the necessary closure of the department store has had a very serious impact on the former employees."

Natrium's directors include Deirdre Foley, 43, from Dublin. Ms Foley has a long-running history in the Irish property industry including several years with Quinlan Private, the investment vehicle of developer Derek Quinlan.

A Natrium spokesman added: "There is strong demand from international retailers and other commercial users for unique and best-in-class spaces within the city centre that is not currently being met.

"Natrium looks forward to proceeding with its plans for the Clerys properties and the surrounding area in compliance with Dublin City Council planning policy."

news@irishmirror.ie

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DEMO Workers protest in Dublin yesterday

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 20, 2015
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