Ictu wants social responsibility clauses after Clerys closure

Conference condemns ‘shameful and callous treatment’ of department store’s workers

Clerys department store, O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Clerys department store, O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) is to urge the Government to introduce new legislation to insert social responsibility clauses into both the Insolvency Act and the Companies Act.

The biennial conference of Ictu unanimously passed an emergency motion condemning what it described as “the callous and shameful treatment of workers” in the former Clerys department store by Gordon Brothers, the former owners, and Natrium Ltd, which purchased the business in June.

Siptu sector organiser Teresa Hannick told the conference the type of employer behaviour experienced in the Clerys case was not an isolated incident.

She said employers in the hotel sector, the restaurant sector and the retail sector were refusing to cooperate with Government policy on the re-introduction of the system of pay and conditions being determined by a joint labour committee.

She said Gordon Brothers had flown the coop with profits of €19 million, which would not be subject to tax in this jurisdiction.

Ms Hannick said the new owners, Natrium Ltd, utilised every piece of legislation available to abdicate any responsibility towards the workers.