herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Concession-owners 'disgusted' as Clerys payments are delayed

BUSINESS

Natrium, the consortium that has taken over Clerys, has promised a "minimum" of 1,700 long-term sustainable jobs after the iconic Dublin store undergoes a revamp.

In a statement today, the company also said that 1,000 jobs would be supported throughout the planning, design, refurbishment and construction stages of the rejuvenation of the Clerys building and adjacent properties.

However, Natrium did not make any assurances or commitments to the 460 workers left redundant.

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

SIPTU Sector Organiser Teresa Hannick said that it "is a lovely statement if you thought there was any truth in it, but given the way Natrium have behaved regarding this matter I don't think you would hold any faith in what they say at this moment."

Clerys closed last week after US Company Gordon Brothers sold it to Irish-led consortium Natrium Ltd and the company that ran the business was put into liquidation.

The move led to the loss of 130 jobs among workers employed directly by Clerys. Another 330 worked at the concession outlets in the department store. Natrium said that it plans to "significantly invest" in the rejuvenation of the Clerys building and the adjacent properties.

"The intended rejuvenation, working in partnership with local stakeholders and other interested parties, will be based around designing and delivering a best-in-class mixed-use destination for Dublin City Centre.

"Job creation will feature significantly in those plans with approximately 1,000 jobs supported throughout the planning, design, refurbishment and construction stages of the project over a two-year period," the company said.

Natrium is a joint venture between D2 Private and funds managed by Cheyne Capital Management (UK) LLP.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, Ms Hannick said that Natrium is resisting calls to meet with Clerys' employees.

"At this moment in time for our members they have asked Natrium to do the right thing, to actually meet with them and talk to them and tell them why this had to happen," she said.

Louise Hogan, owner of the former Nail Zone salon in Clerys - which had six staff - said her company's future is "unclear".

She said she and other owners "were totally and utterly shocked" when they had to pack up and eave.

"I'm disgusted by the way this was ruthlessly carried out," Ms Hogan added.

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