Monday 1 May 2017

Siptu drops opposition to controversial redevelopment of iconic Clerys department store

Clerys clock. Picture: Frank McGrath
Clerys clock. Picture: Frank McGrath
A peek at the proposed development for the Clery's building
A peek at the proposed development for Clery's Building
A peek at the proposed development for Clery's Building
A peek at the proposed development for Clerys Building

Paul Melia Environment Editor

Trade union Siptu has dropped its opposition to the controversial redevelopment of the iconic Clerys department store.

It is understood the country’s biggest trade union has withdrawn its appeal against a grant of planning permission awarded last December in return for securing concessions over new roles when the development is complete.

The decision means that work can now begin on the €150m redevelopment of the department store, which includes plans for a 176-bedroom hotel, rooftop viewing terrace, retail units and offices.

Some 460 staff, which included employees of Clerys as well as those employed by concession holders, were left without work after the store closed its doors in June 2015 after it was bought by a company, Natrium, for €29m.

Clery’s was restructured in 2012 as part of a receivership process by its previous owners and bankers which resulted in the property assets being separated into one company, and the day-to-day retail business operation put in another.

When the operating company went into liquidation, staff were made redundant. Some working for concession companies may have been relocated to other outlets.

The State paid statutory redundancy to workers totalling €2.5m.

However, it is understood that the deal may include a settlement package for Clerys staff, along with a commitment to provide good quality jobs with fair working conditions.

In a brief statement after the appeal was formally withdrawn, Siptu Services Division organiser Ethel Buckley, speaking on behalf of the Justice for the Clerys Workers Campaign, said, a process had been estabilished which would “adequately deal with our concerns in relation to the Clerys development”.

“Due to this, it is now possible for Siptu to withdraw its appeal to An Bord Pleanála.”

Details of the settlement deal will be announced by Dublin Lord Mayor Brendan Carr with representatives from Siptu and Natrium Director Deirdre Foley at 10am tomorrow.

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