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’.