Dunnes staff demand better conditions

A group of disgruntled Dunnes Stores workers made a special delivery to the company’s head office yesterday — a Christmas wish list signed by 1,300 —employees, demanding improved working conditions.

Dunnes staff demand better conditions

If the demands are not met, workers say they will consider taking industrial action.

The stunt was organised by Mandate trade union which represents around 4,000 Dunnes workers. They have called on the company to provide its employees with secure hours, fair pay, and job security.

In a survey of workers carried out by the union, 98% say they want more stable hours. The same percentage wants Dunnes to respect their right to trade union representation.

In addition, 85% say insecurity of hours and rostering is used as a method of control over workers; while 76% say they are on part-time flexible contracts.

The majority (89%) say it’s common practice for new staff on lower pay to get more hours than longer serving staff, while 88% believe hours are unfairly distributed. The same number feel they are not treated with dignity and respect in the workplace.

Gerry Light, assistant general secretary of Mandate, said the survey gives “clear insight” into the lives of Dunnes Stores workers.

“The company has refused to meet with the workers’ chosen representatives and have ignored the Labour Court. They insist there is no ‘dispute’ but everybody can see this is just nonsense. It is in the best interests of both the company and the workers that management do the right thing and engage with their workers in a meaningful way,” he said.

“We’re running out of options here to try to get the company to come to the negotiating table and to deal with us in a reasonable fashion — before we start seriously considering other options up to and including industrial action.”

Dunnes Stores employs more than 10,000 workers in 112 stores across the Republic of Ireland.

Muireann Dalton, Dunnes worker, said they delivered the demands yesterday to senior Dunnes Stores staff to create “real change” in how the company deals with workers.

“We want Dunnes to stop rejecting our attempts through our union and the efforts of the Labour Court to resolve our concerns, particularly in relation to insecurity of hours and the right to representation,” she said.

“Our demands are very reasonable and they’re rights that other workers in the retail sector already have. If Dunnes continue to ignore and dismiss us, we have no other option but to consider other forms of action against the company.”

Dunnes Stores were unavailable for comment on the matter.

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