Penneys faces strike ballot over pay

The Mandate trade union is going to ballot its 4,000 members at Penneys for a 2% pay rise in the coming weeks.

Penneys faces strike ballot over pay

This follows the Labour Court recommending a pay increase higher than what was on offer from Primark and not connecting it to any revised pay scale being agreed with new entrants.

In the dispute, Mandate was seeking a 3% pay claim for 12 months retrospective to June 1 last year.

However, management was willing only to give a 1.5% pay rise contingent on a revised pay scale being agreed for new entrants.

The matter was not resolved at local level or at the Labour Relations Commission before being referred to the Labour Court.

In its argument before the court, Mandate was seeking a 3% rise on the basis of the profitability and improved trading position of the firm.

The union told the Labour Court it cannot accept an increase in pay that is awarded on the basis that new entrants will be worse off than existing employees.

In response, management stressed it has not rejected the union’s claim and is prepared to award a pay rise.

However, Primark stated that, as the company is operating in a highly competitive market, it must be prudent in relation to increasing its costs and, as a result, the pay increase is on the basis of agreement being reached on a pay scale for new entrants.

In its recommendation on the case, the Labour Court stated that it recommends that pay should be increased by 2% with effect from June 1 last for 12 months.

In its recommendation, the Labour Court makes no reference to a revised pay scale for new entrants.

A spokesman for Mandate said yesterday that its members will be balloted on the 2% raise on the basis that there is no concession on the revised pay scale for new entrants. The union spokesman said Penneys is regarded as a good employer.

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