Dunnes Stores staff vote for industrial action

Dunnes has 112 branches across the Republic of Ireland with more than 10,000 workersThe majority of Dunnes Stores staff have voted for industrial action over work contracts and pay conditions.

Members of Mandate Trade Union voted with a majority of 67% in favour of the industrial action on 6 March.

Gerry Light, Mandate’s assistant general secretary said the nature and timing of industrial action will take place within the following week.

Dunnes Stores workers have been involved in a long-running dispute with the company over the issue of zero hour contracts, fair pay and the right of representation for Dunnes Stores staff.

Mandate said that banded hour contracts would give staff much-needed security. With banded hours, employees would be guaranteed a minimum number of hours of work each, which would enable them to apply for loans or mortgages.

Dunnes Stores worker Cathy McLoughlin told the Irish Times that the management continues to refuse to enter into discussions with staff through their union, and says they won’t even go to the Labour Court to address their issues. She said: “None of us want to go on strike because we really can’t afford it, but what other option have we got? Our employer can stop the strike by simply agreeing to meet our union and we don’t feel that’s an unreasonable request.

“All we’re really asking is to be treated the same as workers in other retail outlets like Tesco, Penneys and SuperValu who have secure hours and a right to be represented by their union.”

Last year, the Labour Court urged the company and the union to meet to resolve their differences. However Dunnes has still refused to enter into direct discussions with the union on any matter.

Dunnes Stores said at a time when the retail industry was fighting for survival, staff in the company had received two pay increases while it had also maintained employment levels.

Dunnes has 112 branches across the Republic of Ireland with more than 10,000 workers – 4,000 of which are represented by the union.

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