herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Unions 'optimistic' for futures of Boyers staff

Boyers department store on Dublin’s North Earl Street is to close
Boyers department store on Dublin’s North Earl Street is to close
Mary Gleeson from Kimmage

Staff at the iconic Boyers department store, which will close next January, are hopeful they will get either a proper redundancy package or a new job in negotiations between unions and management.

The 83 staff were shocked at the news of the closure, but are cautiously optimistic that the new management will fully engage with their Mandate and Siptu unions.

"At these early stages, the closure seems to be a world removed from that of Clerys across the road, which shut without notice," said Mandate assistant general secretary Gerry Light.

"What we will be looking for is a situation where workers who want to walk away will get a proper redundancy for their service, and that those who want to keep working can be redeployed, possibly in Arnotts which is owned by the same company," he said.

"All one can be is optimistic, and there may be obstacles down the line, and if there are then the commitment of the management will be tested."

Distorted

"It seems odd that we are praising a company for essentially doing what should be expected of it, but in the light of what happened with Clerys everyone's view of what 'right' looks like has been distorted," said Mr Light.

Meanwhile, customers of Boyers said they were shocked and saddened at the news that the store would close.

"I like shopping in Boyers and it will hit the street badly when it closes, especially after Clerys closed too," said Catherine Smith from East Wall.

"Arnotts has gone upmarket and is a bit dearer in my opinion so it will mean less bargains. "

However, having said that I sometimes come in through the Marlborough Street entrance and you see very few people in the shop, so I suppose it is a struggle for them," she added.

Regular shopper Mary Gleeson from Kimmage, said she felt for all the workers.

"I always came here to get my bedclothes. It was always great value," Mary said.

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