Press Release: Dublin City Manager opposes councillors support for Clery’s workers

Press Release

A special meeting of Dublin City Council was convened last night, Monday June 29th, to address the issue of the sudden closure Clerys department store in the city centre, and its impact on former employees there. Despite the objection of the city manager, the motion put by Clr Brid Smith of People Before Profit was passed unanimously by all councillors present. It states:

This motion calls on Dublin City Council to refuse to grant any ‘change of use’ planning permission in respect of Clerys Store on O’Connell Street to Natrium unless this company meets with representatives of former Clerys workers to discuss saving their jobs or financial compensation by way of enhanced redundancy payments

Cllr Brid Smith said, ‘The treatment of Clerys workers has been an absolute disgrace – vulture capitalism at its worst- and a result of the policy of successive governments to hand over so much of Dublin to property speculators. This motion is a gesture of solidarity with the Clerys workers and hopefully it will make it more difficult for these unscrupulous operators to walk away from their responsibilities to workers and small traders, who have also been treated outrageously’

Brid Smith went onto say, ‘The Clerys case is particularly appalling but it is not unique. There has been a pattern of this kind of behaviour at Vita Cortex, La Sensa, the Paris Bakery and elsewhere. Too many employers seem to believe their employees are just disposable items on a balance sheet who can be dumped on the scrapheap as surplus to requirements the moment it is convenient.

My motion is a small step towards stopping this injustice but what is really needed is trade union action to put some manners on these bosses and government legislation to outlaw these practices and guarantee workers some basic human rights’.

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Day “X” has arrived. Legislation on Water Charges to pass through Daíl next week

WaterTax

New legislation is to be rammed through the Daíl next week regarding Water Charges. Two bills are to be introduced yet only information on one has been released.

Cllr Bríd Smith said “As predicted, this legislation is yet another attack by the Government on the most vulnerable in society. This week we see cuts to One Parent families take effect while this Government has plans to lump another bill onto households via Landlords as debt collectors?. It’s completely unacceptable.”

Bríd continues “there’s only one answer. Feet on the street on July 1st and 14th! The day the bill is pass through the Daíl and the day it is to be voted on.”

Another Bill is to be introduced but little has been released as yet. The bill in questionis for attachment orders on social welfare.

The new amendments in the Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2015 dealing with water charges include:

  • After 2015 the €100 conservation grant will not be given to anyone who is not on a database which will be held by Irish water. The database will include any information that the Minister deems relevant.
  • Landlords will be required to pass tenants details to Irish Water
  • Tenancy agreements in rented accommodation (public and private) will be required to include an obligation to pay water charges as a condition of the tenancy. That means tenants could be evicted for not paying water charges.
  • Approved housing bodies and voluntary housing groups will be responsible for ensuring water charges are paid
  • It will be a requirement for selling a house to provide proof of having paid water charges
  • It won’t be possible to buy a council house until water charges are paid
  • Approved housing bodies and voluntary housing groups will be responsible for ensuring water charges are paid
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Brid’s motion to council committee to deny planning permission to Clerys new owners

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Press Release from Cllr Brid Smith:

An emergency motion on Clerys proposed by Cllr Brid Smith of People Before Profit has just been passed by the South Central Area Committee and will go to the full City Council Meeting on 6 July. It states:

“This area committee calls on Dublin City Council to refuse to grant any ‘change of use’ planning permission in respect of Clerys Store on O’Connell Street to Natrium unless this company meets with representatives of former Clerys workers to discuss saving their jobs or financial compensation by way of enhanced redundancy payments

Cllr Brid Smith said, ‘The treatment of Clerys workers has been an absolute disgrace – vulture capitalism at its worst- and a result of the policy of successive governments to hand over so much of Dublin to property speculators. This motion is a gesture of solidarity with the Clerys workers and hopefully it will make more difficult for these unscrupulous operators to walk away from their responsibilities to their staff.’

Ends. Contact Brid Smith 0879090166

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Press Release 16th June 2015 – Clery’s Workers should not become victims of property speculators

Councillor Brid Smith, People Before Profit spokesperson, has condemned the sacking of Clery’s workers as ”a blatant example of how property speculation is destroying lives.”

“Dublin now ranks as the world’s leader for returns on commercial property. This has encouraged a consortium led by Deirdre Foley to clear out the troublesome staff of Clery’s  and prepare the site for a new property venture.”

“Many people will condemn the manner in which workers have been treated – but then claim that ‘nothing can be done’. I disagree.”

“It is time for Dublin City Council to use its powers to send a clear message that it will not tolerate mistreatment of workers.”

Cllr Brid Smith of People Before Profit is therefore placing an emergency resolution before the council to instruct the city officials to refuse any change on planning permission for Clery’s until the staff are treated fairly and their jobs restored or proper payments awarded”

Ends

For confirmation telephone Brid Smith 087 9090166

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People Before Profit National Committee in Belfast

Adrienne Wallace, Cllr Gerry Carroll, Cllr Bríd Smith, Cllr John Lyons

Adrienne Wallace, Cllr Gerry Carroll, Cllr Bríd Smith, Cllr John Lyons

The National Council of People Before Profit met on Sunday for the first time in Belfast, rather than in Dublin – our usual venue. And what could be more fitting than to have the meeting in West Belfast, where PBP Cllr Jerry Carol came second only to Sinn Fein in the recent election. This unprecedented achievement puts socialism back on the agenda in West Belfast. Jerry’s breakthrough has been hailed as ‘historic’ and delegates to the meeting, from PBP branches ’round the country, were in good form as we debated strategies that will lead the struggle forward into the coming period.

Cllr Gerry Carroll, Richard Boyd Barrett, Cllr Deirdre Wadding, Cllr John Lyons, Cllr Bríd Smith

Cllr Gerry Carroll, Richard Boyd Barrett, Cllr Deirdre Wadding, Cllr John Lyons, Cllr Bríd Smith

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Right2Water Conference June 13th

Delegates from People before Profit, including Brid Smith, attended the June 13 Conference convened by the Right2Water trade unions to discuss a programme of Policy Principles for a Progressive Irish Government. There they argued, along with others, for the need for a government of the left to refuse to pay the huge debt loaded on the Irish people as a result of the bankers’ reckless greed.

People Before Profit contingent, R2W June 13th

People Before Profit contingent, R2W June 13th

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Right2Housing Conference 2015

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A conference organised by Brid in March 2015 on the housing crisis attracted over 300 participants. Speakers included Fr Peter McVerry, Dr Andrew McLaren (Centre of urban and regional studies TCD), and Eileen Short – housing campaigner from East London as well as activists and campaigners past and present on the issue of social housing.

The videos below features some of the speakers at the conference and contributions from the floor.

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Housing conference organised by Brid [Video]

 

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Ambulance services and Dublin Fire Brigade [Video]

Brid challenges the proposal to remove ambulance services from Dublin Fire Brigade

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Brid Smith International Women’s Day at GPO 2015 [Video]

Brid addresses the crowd outside the GPO on International Women’s Day< March 8, 2015, linking the struggle for women’s rights with the fight against Water Charges and for Workers’ Rights.

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