Friday 19 January 2018

ICTU, Ibec in fight over post-Clerys proposals

Workers protesting outside Clerys department store last June (Picture: INM)
Workers protesting outside Clerys department store last June (Picture: INM)
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has branded as "irresponsible" a claim by the employers' group Ibec that the findings of the Clerys report should not be implemented and that existing laws should be tested first.

Ibec said provisions already existed within the 2014 Companies Act to deal with poor corporate behaviour.

Staff at Clerys learned last June that they were to lose their jobs just hours after the store building had been sold.

The report, by Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy and company-law specialist Nessa Cahill, found that there should be increased compensation for workers, amounting to two years' pay, if an existing 30-day notice and consultation period is not respected by an employer.

But Maeve McElwee, director of employer relations at Ibec, said some of the recommendations were "enormously onerous".

She continued: "The Companies Act 2014 already provides for opportunities to address poor corporate behaviour. To introduce further legislation that would impact on every business and all compliant businesses is excessive when we haven't yet tested the legislation that currently exists."

But ICTU described the Ibec claim as "misleading and irresponsible".

Spokesperson Patricia King said: "Their (Ibec's) assertion is also undermined by the Duffy/Cahill report on the Clerys closure, which identified serious deficiencies within the existing law that it said should be addressed."

Irish Independent

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