Over 12,000 people sign petition for Clerys workers

130 or so direct employees lost their jobs when company went into liquidation

Clerys workers protesting outside the shut retailer on O’Connell Street, Dublin, June 23rd, 2015. Photograph: Peter Smyth/The Irish Times

Clerys workers protesting outside the shut retailer on O’Connell Street, Dublin, June 23rd, 2015. Photograph: Peter Smyth/The Irish Times

 

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition calling for the new owners of Clerys to meet with redundant staff, according to union Siptu.

Siptu’s sector organiser, Theresa Hannick, said the public response to the petition has been positive but insisted the new owners of Clerys must meet with staff.

“Between the online and physical petition, we’ve collected in excess of 12,000 signatures. We expect to collect a further couple of thousand over the next couple of days,” she said.

Natrium, the consortium which took over Clerys earlier this month, has yet to meet with workers or staff who used to be employed in a department store. They previously said that they plan to transform the Clerys building into a “predominantly retail-led development encompassing other commercial uses.”

The 130 or so direct employees of Clerys who immediately lost their jobs when the company went into liquidation last week are expected to receive only statutory redundancy entitlements.

Under this scheme an eligible employee is entitled to two weeks’ statutory redundancy payment for every year of service, plus a bonus week.

Representatives from Uni Global Union, which represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions across the world, joined former staff members outside the building to help collect signatures for the petition.

Alke Boessiger, head of commerce with Uni Global, has labelled the closure as despicable and has called for all members of Uni Global to sign the petition.

“UNI’s 20 million members stand in solidarity with SIPTU and the Clerys workers. This is a prime example of the race to the bottom and we must fight tooth and nail to seek justice for these victims of corporate greed,” Mr Boessiger said.

“We just had a delegation from Uni Global and they’ll be sharing our fight with various different unions and countries around the world,” Ms Hannick said.

Senator David Norris was among those who signed the petition on Tuesday afternoon.

Siptu representatives and Clerys workers will continue to collect signatures outside of the store for the rest of the week from 12.30pm to 2.30pm.