Costello welcomes study on enhancing workers’ protection

14 January 2016

Dublin Central Labour Party TD Joe Costello has welcomed today’s announcement by Minister Ged Nash of the appointment of two experts to examine the legal protections for workers, particularly where operations and assets may be moved to separate legal entities as part of a restructuring, such as happened with the closure of Clerys.

Deputy Costello said: “The circumstances surrounding the closure of one of the most famous stores in Ireland and the treatment of the 130 direct employees and the 330 concession workers were appalling.

“Gordon Brothers and Natrium, the former and new owners, combined in secret behind the backs of the workforce, to exploit company law to deprive a loyal workforce of their jobs and their financial entitlements.  It was morally corrupt behaviour but apparently was legal under company law.  Therefore, I welcome that Kevin Duffy, chairperson of the Labour Court and Nessa Cahill BL a company law specialist, will examine existing legislation and report back within eight weeks with solutions on how to best protect the interests of workers in such cases.

“The Irish economy must be rebuilt on sound and fair foundations.  We must ensure that workers and their families are at the forefront of the recovery, that the relationship with their employer is transparent and respectful and that business deals exploiting employees, as happened in Clerys, can never happen again in Ireland.”

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