Clerys workers' anger at Natrium refusal to discuss jobs with minister
Former Clerys workers have expressed anger at its new owners for refusing to discuss the liquidation of the company in a meeting Jobs Minister Ged Nash is attempting to set up.
Mr Nash has been seeking the meeting with Natrium Ltd since the closure of Clerys was announced on June 12 so he can present a special report to Taoiseach Enda Kenny early this week.
According to Mr Nash, the new owners have moved to delay the meeting and have refused to discuss the liquidation and the loss of more than 400 jobs.
The terms being proposed by Natrium director Deirdre Foley have frustrated both Nash and Clerys workers.
"What is the point in having a meeting if all matters are not going to be discussed," said Clerys worker of 32 years, Maurice Bracken.
"We need answers and none are forthcoming. Do Natrium know how much hurt they have caused or do they care," he asked.
"Maybe they (Natrium) don't know what to say and are biding for time, but we've been through anger, disappointment, and confusion.
"The whole thing is so upsetting," Maurice told the Herald.
Minister Nash has said he finds it extraordinary that a company which "bought and closed down one of Ireland's most iconic stores" in a matter of hours cannot manage to meet with a Government minister until more than a month after the lives of 460 workers and their families, dozens of concession holders and small businesses were turned upside down.
Natrium is a joint venture between two companies, D2 Private and Cheyne Capital Management in the UK.
Minister Nash has been in correspondence with Natrium since June 18 trying to set up a meeting, but it has suggested it take place on July 13, this day week.
Mr Nash said his special advisor has been told Natrium will not discuss the liquidation of Clery's at any meeting.
"I would be interested to hear from you how it is possible to disconnect the sale and purchase of Clerys and the liquidation, given the contemporaneous synchronicity of events in the early hours of June 12," Nash wrote in response.
Natrium Ltd would not comment on the matter when approached.
Clerys employed 130 people at the store and in its warehouse.
Another 330 were employed by the 50 concession holders who operated in the landmark O'Connell Street department store.