Dunnes Stores concede Mandate Trade Union’s 3% pay claim

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12% pay increase welcomed, but security of hours and earnings still main issue for Dunnes workers

Mandate Trade Union has welcomed concession of a 3 percent pay claim for Dunnes Stores workers, which is the fourth increase in four years, culminating in a 12 percent pay increase for almost 10,000 workers.

However, the Union said the majority of all Dunnes staff are still working on low-hour contracts and this insecurity over hours needs to be addressed immediately.

Dunnes workers can have their hours slashed at the sole discretion of a local manager, reducing their income from €400 per week to as low as €150 per week. This can potentially make any pay increase somewhat irrelevant, according to Mandate.

The Union lodged a claim for a 3 percent pay increase on March 30th and the Labour Court had recently set a date for a hearing for 1st December.

However, this morning Dunnes management confirmed concession of the claim at in-store meetings at different locations across the country. Reports indicate the pay increase will be back dated to the 3rd October 2016.

Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said, “This is another massive success for the workers in Dunnes Stores who have stuck together in their Union and campaigned for better pay and working conditions for all Dunnes workers.”

He added, “With housing and rental costs increasing and motor insurance up significantly, this will go some way towards ensuring Dunnes workers are not left out of pocket.

“Importantly, this shows our campaign is still making progress,” Mr Light said, “but workers also need security of hours – which hasn’t been conceded by Dunnes management yet. Without secure hour contracts, this pay increase can become meaningless if management decide to reduce hours by two or three in a week.”

Mandate is demanding secure hour contracts in Dunnes Stores which would give workers certainty over their income. The Union is calling on all political parties and Independent representatives to legislate and make this a reality for workers in retail and other sectors of the economy where precarious work is prevalent.

Mr Light said: “Any pay increase must be implemented in conjunction with secure hour contracts to ensure workers have certainty of earnings from week to week. If Dunnes refuse to do the right thing by their workers, we will pursue this issue through political and legislative avenues.

He added, “The best way to ensure this pay increase is not paid for through cuts to hours is be a member of Mandate Trade Union and join the claim for secure hours that is about to be presented to the Labour Court in the near future.”

Mr Light concluded, “What our members in Dunnes are asking for is very reasonable and is afforded to all workers in Dunnes’ major competitors in the retail sector, including Tesco, Penneys, Marks & Spencer and Supervalu. They want secure hours and earnings, job security, fair pay and the right to be represented by their trade union.”

Dunnes Stores employs almost 10,000 workers in 114 stores in the Republic of Ireland.

Dunnes Stores member update – 27, Sept 2016

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Please find below an update in respect of the following issues

1. Pay Claim for 2016

On the 30th March 2016 your union served a claim on your employer seeking the following

  • 3% pay increase
  • Guaranteed minimum increases in hourly rates of pay
  • Review of working hours to include the creation of a number of full time jobs

Dunnes Stores management have failed to respond to the claim served on your behalf leaving your union with no option but to refer the matters outlined to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Even though your employer was contacted by the WRC over the past number of months they declined to respond to a request to engage with your union. Accordingly we are left with no option but to refer the claim to the Labour Court for their consideration and this we have done as a matter of urgency.

2. Claim for security of weekly working hours

As you are all aware one of the key objectives of the ongoing Decency for Dunnes Workers Campaign is our fight for better weekly hours. As part of our one day dispute in 2015 we won from Government the introduction of new legislation which allowed the Labour Court issue legally binding recommendations. Your fight for improved hours was one of the first referred to the Court under this legislation and we are currently working through the process since the preliminary hearing on 1st June 2016. Whilst it might appear to be taking a long time, your union is as determined as ever to achieve a successful outcome.

3. Legislation/Political Updates

Again as a consequence of our ongoing Decency for Dunnes Workers Campaign we continue to lobby politicians in an effort to bring about legislative changes that support our objectives. To this end Sinn Fein introduced a Bill on banded hour contracts which was passed by the Dail on 7th July 2016. The Labour Party are about to introduce a Bill in the Seanad which also attempts to guarantee workers the right to the hours that they actually work as opposed to those that appear as a minimum on their contract.

In conclusion we want to reassure you that your union will continue to fight for fair and proper treatment for our members employed in Dunnes Stores. Surely all Dunnes workers are entitled to their fair share from a business that continues to grow sales and profits.

Together we must remain committed to achieving the objectives that have been prioritised by all Dunnes members. Success, although slow, will happen. However, in order to ensure it does happen, we must continue to maintain strong membership levels and a renewed determination to organise if we are to make lasting and positive change in Dunnes Stores.

Historic Banded Hour Contracts Bill passes to next stage in Dail

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Dunnes Stores workers help to secure Banded Hour Contracts Bill 2016

A letter from the Assistant General to all Dunnes Stores workers

Dear Dunnes Stores members,

As you may already be aware, a vote took place today (Thursday, 7th July 2016) in Dail Eireann on the Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016. This Bill would provide workers with security over their hours and incomes by affording workers a contract of employment that reflects the hours they actually work. It would also facilitate workers to seek more hours should they become available.

The Bill has its foundations in last year’s vitally important Dunnes Stores strike where 6,000 of you and your colleagues took the courageous and difficult decision to go on strike in pursuit of decency at work. Your action was supported by almost all politicians in the country with representatives from all political parties attending the picket lines.

Today the commitment from those political parties was tested.

We are happy to announce that the Bill has passed and will now enter into the pre-legislative scrutiny phase. However, unfortunately a last minute and unexpected amendment was made by Fianna Fail which has the unfortunate effect of delaying the implementation by at least one year. Your union feels strongly this amendment was unnecessary and we have written to Micheal Martin stating that his party’s actions are a betrayal of low paid retail workers and their dependents. Well done to all Mandate Trade Union members who contacted Fianna Fail and other TD’s over the last number of days in relation to this issue.

Notwithstanding this 12 month set-back, real progress is being made on the issue of decency at work and tackling low and zero hour contracts and that would not be possible without you and your fellow union members.

Mandate Trade Union has been lobbying for the development and passing of this Bill for more than 12 months now, and along with the introduction of the Industrial Relations Amendment Act (2015), it proves that through working together we are making changes that have the real potential to make a positive difference to all workers in Ireland.

It is important that over the coming weeks and months we all continue to lobby all political parties so that this Bill is legislated for without any further delays. It is your Union’s position that every day this Bill is not in place is a day when workers can be exploited by unscrupulous employers.

It is very rare what happened in the Dail today in that all political parties decided to support, albeit an amended version, a Bill which has the potential to assist low paid workers in their pursuit of better and more secure pay. If some of them did this on the mischievous presumption that this Government will fall before the Bill is passed into law they are seriously misjudging the commitment and resolve of your union to hold them to their promises at every opportunity right through the lifetime of the current Dail and up to the next general election if necessary.

Together we have created real momentum around this issue and we will not give up until we have collectively achieved secure hours and certainty of earnings so that all workers can lead dignified lives.

In solidarity,

Gerry Light

Mandate Assistant General Secretary

Majority of TD’s support Banded Hours Contracts Bill

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Dunnes Stores workers received widespread support from almost all TD’s in the Dail last night when the Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016 was being debated.

Parties supporting the Bill include:

  • Sinn Fein, Labour, AAA/PBP, Independents4Change, Social Democrats, Green Party, a number of Independents.

Parties supporting the Bill but seeking to delay it by 12 months include:

  • Fianna Fail

Parties opposing the Bill:

  • Fine Gael.

Watch each contribution in the Dail below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take action today for Decent Work – low hour contract workers need your help

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Yesterday a Bill called the Banded Hours Contracts Bill 2016 was introduced into the Dail. This Bill aims to provide workers with greater security over their weekly hours and income – essentially what we have been fighting for the members in Dunnes Stores on the flexi-hours contracts.  This is about decency and fairness at work.

This Bill tackles low and zero hour contracts and already has the support of Sinn Fein, the Labour Party, Independents4Change AAA/PBP, Social Democrats, and others.

Fianna Fail have signaled their support for the Bill in principle but they are now proposing an amendment which could delay the Bill by a further 12 months. This proposed delay is unnecessary and unacceptable!

The Bill will be voted on in the Dail this Thursday 7th of July at 1pm.     

ACT NOW!

Please ring your local constituency Fianna Fail TDs today and tomorrow up to 1pm and urge them to pass this bill without any amendments that may delay it.   See list of names and numbers for your FF TDs across Ireland below.

Points when ringing TD offices.

  • Ring and ask to speak with the TD directly. If they are not available leave a clear message of why you are ringing and what you want them to do.
  • Make sure to identify who you are, where you work, that you are a member or shop steward of Mandate Trade Union, and how many other people work with you.
  • State that you and your co-workers want them to support the Banded Hours Contracts Bill 2016 without any unnecessary delays as we cannot wait for them to take action for you and your families.
  • Remind them that many Fianna Fail TDs came out to the Dunnes picket lines last year to pledge their support so now it’s time for them to stand true to their word.

To see the full text of the Bill please click here.

To see a letter from the Dunnes Stores workers to all members of the Oireachtas yesterday please click here.

FIANNA FAIL TD LISTINGS

Carlow/Kilkenny
Bobby Aylward
056 7764726

Carlow/Kilkenny
John McGuinness
056 7770672
087 2855834

Cavan/Monaghan
Brendan Smith
049 4362366

Cavan/Monaghan
Niamh Smyth
042 9666666
087 9982222

Clare
Timmy Dooley
065 6891115

Cork East
Kevin O Keefe
022 25320

Cork North Central
Billy Kelleher
021 4502289

Cork North West
Aindrias Moynihan
026 45828

Cork North West
Michael Moynihan
029 51299

Cork South Central
Michael McGrath
021 4376699

Cork South Central
Micheal Martin
021 4320088

Cork South West
Margaret Murphy O’Mahony
086 8529275

Donegal
Charlie McConalogue
074 9373131/074 9177282

Donegal
Pat The Cope Gallagher
074 95 21364
087 2238925

Dublin Bay North
Sean Haughey
01 6183695
087 3494888

Dublin Bay South
Jim O Callaghan
01 4758943

Dublin Fingal
Darragh O Brien
01 6183802

Dublin Midwest
John Curran
01 6183792

Dublin South West
John Lahart
01 4939608

Dublin West
Jack Chambers
086 4177335

Galway East
Anne Rabbitte
087 2424704

Galway West
Eamon O Cuiv
091 562846

Kerry
John Brassil
066 7133112
087 2362330

Kildare North
Frank O Rourke
087 2555257

Kildare North
James Lawless
086 8348869

Kildare South
Fiona O Loughlin
045 436792
087 2345160

Laois
Sean Fleming
057 8732692

Limerick City
Willie O Dea
061 454488/ 061 454522

Limerick County
Niall Collins
061 300149
087 2749659

Longford/Westmeath
Robert Troy
044 9334857

Louth
Declan Breathnach
087 2697638

Mayo
Dara Calleary
096 77613

Mayo
Lisa Chambers
094 9250577

Meath East
Thomas Byrne
01 6183310

Meath West
Shane Cassells
086 3399198

Offaly
Barry Cowen
057 9321976

Roscommon/Galway
Eugene Murphy
071 963 3000

Sligo/Leitrim
Eamon Scanlon
071 9197903/ 071 9302537

Sligo/Leitrim
Marc Mac Sharry
086 2674764

Tipperary
Jackie Cahill
087 2820663

Waterford
Mary Butler
087 7425020

Wexford
James Browne
086 8575387

Wicklow
Pat Casey
086 2649483

Constituency Name Contact Number Mobile
Carlow/Kilkenny Bobby Aylward 056 7764726  
Carlow/Kilkenny John McGuinness 056 7770672 087 2855834
Cavan/Monaghan Brendan Smith 049 4362366  
Cavan/Monaghan Niamh Smyth 042 9666666 087 9982222
Clare Timmy Dooley 065 6891115  
Cork East Kevin O Keefe 022 25320  
Cork North Central Billy Kelleher 021 4502289  
Cork North West Aindrias Moynihan 026 45828  
Cork North West Michael Moynihan 029 51299  
Cork South Central Michael McGrath 021 4376699  
Cork South Central Micheal Martin 021 4320088  
Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony   086 8529275
Donegal Charlie McConalogue 074 9373131/074 9177282  
Donegal Pat The Cope Gallagher 074 95 21364 087 2238925
Dublin Bay North Sean Haughey 01 6183695 087 3494888
Dublin Bay South Jim O Callaghan 01 4758943  
Dublin Fingal Darragh O Brien 01 6183802  
Dublin Midwest John Curran 01 6183792  
Dublin South West John Lahart 01 4939608  
Dublin West Jack Chambers   086 4177335
Galway East Anne Rabbitte   087 2424704
Galway West Eamon O Cuiv 091 562846  
Kerry John Brassil 066 7133112 087 2362330
Kildare North Frank O Rourke   087 2555257
Kildare North James Lawless   086 8348869
Kildare South Fiona O Loughlin 045 436792 087 2345160
Laois Sean Fleming 057 8732692  
Limerick City Willie O Dea 061 454488/ 061 454522  
Limerick County Niall Collins 061 300149 087 2749659
Longford/Westmeath Robert Troy 044 9334857  
Louth Declan Breathnach   087 2697638
Mayo Dara Calleary 096 77613  
Mayo Lisa Chambers 094 9250577  
Meath East Thomas Byrne 01 6183310  
Meath West Shane Cassells   086 3399198
Offaly Barry Cowen 057 9321976  
Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy 071 963 3000  
Sligo/Leitrim Eamon Scanlon 071 9197903/ 071 9302537  
Sligo/Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry   086 2674764
Tipperary Jackie Cahill   087 2820663
Waterford Mary Butler   087 7425020
Wexford James Browne   086 8575387
Wicklow Pat Casey   086 2649483

 

 

 

Dunnes Stores workers write to all members of the Oireachtas

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Dunnes Stores workers have written to all members of the Oireachtas today calling on them to support the Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016 this Thursday, 7th July 2016. The Bill will be moved today (Tuesday, 5th July 2016) at 8:30pm in the Dáil by Deputy David Cullinane and will be voted on this Thursday at 1pm in Dáil Éireann.

The Bill would provide workers on zero or low hour contracts with “certainty of earnings” and allow them to seek more hours at work.

Mandate members are urged to contact their local TD’s calling on them to support the Bill. You can find your local representatives by clicking here.

Below is the letter from Dunnes Stores workers to all TD’s and Senators.

To all members of the Oireachtas.

Firstly, we want to start by thanking you all for the tremendous support shown to all of the Dunnes Stores workers throughout the country when we went on strike last year.

Our dispute with our employer is about decent work and security of hours and earnings for all Dunnes workers.

Three out of every four of the 10,000 Dunnes Stores workers are employed on what are called “flexi-hour contracts”. These contracts have a minimum of 15 hours per week. Despite this, most of us work many hours above that. Some of us work 25 hours and some work 35 hours. But the average hours worked per week is 25-30.  All we want is a new contract that reflects the hours we actually work so we have an income we can depend on from week to week.

This would give us confidence that we will be able to put food on the table to feed and clothe our families at the end of the week. At the moment, our income can fluctuate from €400 one week, to €150 the next week, entirely at the discretion of a local manager, and this makes it impossible to plan our lives.

Many of our colleagues have been denied loans with credit unions and mortgages with a bank because of our 15 hour contracts. Bank managers look at our payslips and see 30 hours every week, sometimes for 6 or 7 years, but then see the contracted 15 hours and tell us that our guaranteed annual income is €9,000 making it is impossible to give us a loan on that basis.

Some of us have also been denied rental accommodation for the very same reason. This contract is not an accident. In our Decency for Dunnes Workers survey of 1,400 workers last year, 85% of the said that allocation of hours is used as a method of control over us.

For instance, after we went on strike on 2nd April 2015, our hours were slashed in a campaign of retribution by the company. All we were seeking was the same type of contracts afforded to Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Penneys workers, who know from week to week what they’ll be earning.

These ‘flexi-hour contracts’ are about intimidating workers so management can have a compliant workforce. How can you complain about a health and safety issue or be confident about joining a trade union if you know your manager can cut your hours from 35 to 15 spreading them over four or five days – so that you cannot access supplementary social welfare? This is what’s happening all across the retail and hospitality sector.

Our demands have been vindicated by the University of Limerick Report and the Joint Oireachtas report, both of which recommend that this issue needs to be tackled. And we know that Dunnes Stores is only the tip of the iceberg. There are tens of thousands of workers in the same situation as us and something needs to be done about it now.

We are asking all members of this House to please support this Bill. If we are serious about ensuring workers have some dignity and respect in their lives, then start by allowing us some certainty over our hours and income.

Dunnes Stores National Shopstewards Committee

Mandate refers Dunnes Stores pay claim to Workplace Relations Commission

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Mandate Trade Union has referred a claim for a 3 percent pay increase for all Dunnes Stores workers to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) after the company refused to respond to a claim originally lodged on the 30th March 2016.

Mandate, in following procedures agreed with Dunnes in the 1996 collective agreement, has now sought a conciliation conference at the WRC.

Mandate’s Assistant Secretary Gerry Light said the company has an obligation to its workers to engage positively on the issue:

“Our members in Dunnes Stores deserve and are entitled to a pay increase which would address cost of living pressures but would also serve to improve their living standards.

He added, “All the talk over the past 12 months has been about a recovery in the economy and we believe our members are entitled to a fair share of that recovery.”

“We’re not too surprised that Dunnes has refused to engage directly, but we do hope the company shows some respect for the agreement they made with their workers’ representatives and with the State’s mechanisms for resolving industrial relations disputes.”

Mr Light concluded, “This referral comes in the week Mandate took Dunnes Stores to the Labour Court under the brand new Industrial Relations Amendment Act (2015) where we hope to achieve certainty of earnings for Dunnes workers. This would mean, if successful, Dunnes workers in the future would not only be able to achieve pay increases, but would also have improved guaranteed weekly hours.”

 

 

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