Staff from Dublin department store Clerys are holding a series of protests, including marches and sit-ins, after the business was sold for an undisclosed sum and ordered to immediately cease trading last Friday (June 12).
More than 100 employees, some of whom have worked for the company for more than 40 years, marched to the store on Saturday to demand its new owners agree to immediate talks with trade unions Siptu and Mandate. Siptu has called another rally on Tuesday at midday.
Around 20 employees also staged a sit-in at the department store until 9pm on the Friday it closed, although plans to stay over the weekend were called off.
The store has been sold to Guernsey-based real estate company Natrium, which is a joint venture between Irish property company D2 Private and discretionary funds managed by UK-based Cheyne Capital Management. US investment firm Quadrant Real Estate Advisors provided some of the financing.
Clerys was previously owned by the US private equity and investment firm Gordon Brothers Group’s European investment arm.
Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson from professional services firm KPMG were appointed joint provisional liquidators to OCS Operations, trading as Clerys, on June 12 following the sale.
“Only a few hours after staff learned that Clerys had been sold to Natrium they were told the company was being liquidated,” said Siptu organiser Teresa Hannick.
“They have yet to meet any representatives of Gordon Brothers Ireland or Natrium. The workers only learned their jobs were lost when a liquidator from [professional services firm] KPMG arrived at the store at around 5pm on Friday and told them the company was closing.”
Siptu representatives will meet with representatives of KPMG on Tuesday morning before the rally.
Clerys employs 130 people and another 330 work for concession holders in the store.