herald

Friday 24 November 2017

Clerys workers to get 'goodwill' payment after settlement deal

Front, from third left: Siptu’s Gerry Markey and Ethel Buckley, Lord Mayor Brendan Carr, and
Natrium’s Deirdre Foley with Clerys workers outside the Mansion House. Photo: Collins
Front, from third left: Siptu’s Gerry Markey and Ethel Buckley, Lord Mayor Brendan Carr, and Natrium’s Deirdre Foley with Clerys workers outside the Mansion House. Photo: Collins

Former Clerys workers who lost their jobs without warning in June 2015 will be given a "goodwill" payment following protracted negotiations between the owners and their trade union.

Siptu has outlined details of a "confidential settlement" reached with Natrium, which closed the iconic store without warning, leaving 460 workers, including some directly employed by the company, without a job.

The settlement includes an "understanding" around fair working conditions during construction works and the operational stages of the €150m Clerys redevelopment, which includes a 176-bedroom hotel.

The communities of the north east inner city will also benefit through training and employment opportunities, and there will be a process to "recognise the service" of former Clerys workers when allocating jobs in the development.

Conflict

The agreement also provides for a goodwill payment for the former employees, with sources saying between €1m and €2m would be provided.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr, who helped broker the deal, called for changes in the law.

"As we must accept that periods of disagreement and conflict between workers and business interests are part of a normally functioning society, just as is their resolution through dialogue, there is also a need to accept that legislative measures must be introduced to ensure that a dispute of the nature of the one that surrounded the closure of Clerys cannot happen again," he said.

Natrium's Deirdre Foley said the agreement was in the "best interests of all involved".

The development would be complete within three years, she said.

Some 3,000 are expected to be employed when it is finished, and it would be "internationally renowned and create a catalyst for change", she added.

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