Dunnes workersset to strike

The union representing up to 5,000 workers in Dunnes Stores has called on shoppers and other workers in the company not to cross the picket-line when it stages a one-day strike at stores on Easter Thursday.

Dunnes workersset to strike

Mandate trade union says the action on April 2, which it described as “initial”, will proceed unless senior management in the company agrees to meet workers “through their trade union” to discuss the range of issues in dispute. The union says its members want:

  • The implementation of banded hour contracts to give workers security of hours and earnings;
  • “Fair” pay for all workers;
  • A review of what it said was excessive use of temporary employment contracts;
  • Individual and collective representational rights.

Mandate assistant general secretary Gerry Light said: “Our members in Dunnes are extremely disappointed with the behaviour of their company.

“Dunnes, like every employer in this State have a moral responsibility to their own workers and they are failing them in this regard. Nobody wants this industrial action to go ahead but the ultimate responsibility lies with the company who can resolve this dispute with one simple phonecall.”

The union last month published a copy of a letter on its website which it said Dunnes management sent to staff. In it, the company said it hoped it could continue to work together with the staff members “as otherwise the inevitable consequence will be harm to the company which can only but harm to its employees resulting in redundancies and layoffs”.

The letter also said Dunnes, “similar to many substantial companies that operate in Ireland and internationally”, does not engage with trade unions.

“Mandate trade union knows well it cannot legally force the company to engage with it,” read the letter. “It cannot, therefore, create an industrial dispute or ballot to that effect.”

A Mandate spokesman said it expected that workers who are not unionised will join the union and back their colleagues during the action.

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