B&Q workers vote for strike action

BUSINESS at six Irish stores in the B&Q chain could grind to a halt following a decisive vote in favour of industrial action by members of Mandate.

The powerful trade union said the ballot was held because of what it termed several serious breaches of labour law. The company operates six stores in total in Ireland - three stores in Dublin, and the remainder outside of the capital.

The action is being taken by employees and the union because of worsening terms and conditions of employment in the company’s stores, the union stated.

“Continual and systematic breaches of contracts of employment and the repeated failure of B&Q to pay wages due correctly and on time,” were cited as some of the contentious issues.

Following the results of the vote, industrial action was sanctioned by the national executive committee of Mandate, which represents over 40,000 workers in the retail and bar trades.

John Douglas, the union’s general secretary has written to the company requesting a meeting in an effort to reach agreement on the issues involved in the dispute.

Brendan Archbold, national official with Mandate explained: “We have decided to contact company management before the issuing of strike notice in an effort to reach agreement on all issues involved in this dispute.

“B&Q has adopted a policy which involves their failure to pay wages correctly and on time and continual breaches of contracts of employment. The situation has been worsening for some time and has now reached a critical juncture with this overwhelming support for industrial action as expressed in a secret ballot of our members at the chain,” he said.

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