Builders refuse to work with Clerys owners until they meet former staff

It is calling on more Irish business people to stand up to what it calls "vulture companies"...

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Building restoration specialists Lambstongue have refused to work on the redevelopment of the Clerys building on O'Connell St in central Dublin - if it will not meet with workers whose jobs were lost when the department store closed.

It closed without warning when the shop was bought by the Natrium consortium. The group has since applied to Dublin City Council for planning permission to redevelop the iconic building.

A previous Lambstongue project

"These are some of the best examples of post 1916 bronze and steel windows in Ireland, and we would have loved the opportunity to work on this building, but we refused to get involved unless the workers were granted a meeting. There was no meeting, and we didn’t get the job," the company said in a statement.

"There was no meeting, and we didn't get the job. It is difficult not to appear a bit po-faced about taking such an action, but perhaps if the majority of construction companies took such a stance, vulture companies would think twice about treating ordinary workers in such a fashion, and the overall climate might change for the better," the statement continued.

It decided to take this action after discussing the issue with its own staff and Siptu, the union which represents Clerys workers.

Lambstongue believes that it is the only Irish company capable of carrying out the restoration work.

The Department of Social Protection was forced to pay €2m of taxpayers' money to staff who were left unemployed without warning.