21 March 2017

by Cllr Joe Costello

The dramatic adjournment of the Bord Pleanala oral hearing of the planning application for the redevelopment of the Clerys Building on  O’Connell St. and the subsequent withdrawal by SIPTU of its appeal against the application yesterday indicated that significant progress had been made towards an agreement between the two parties. 

This morning at a press conference in the Mansion House some of the details of the agreement facilitated by the Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr, were revealed. 

Natrium have agreed to make a substantial financial contribution to each of the former Clerys workers.  They have also agreed to retrain and to reemploy those former members of staff who wish to return.  This is certainly good news for the workers who had been sacked so scandalously in June 2015 when the premises had been bought by Natrium. This is a great victory for those workers who have campaigned for over twenty months for justice and for their union, SIPTU, which has supported them through thick and thin.

Secondly, Natrium has agreed to establish a framework of co-operation with the local community to facilitate education, training and apprenticeships to ensure that local people would acquire the skills to access the thousand jobs in the construction phase and the three thousand jobs which will be created in the retail and catering sector when the new Clerys business is up and running.

The Clerys agreement can become a template for other developments in the North East Inner City as envisaged in the Mulvey Report for the social and economic regeneration of the area.

It is, indeed, a great victory for the workforce and it can become the beginning of a great future for the local community.