Dunnes Stores set for Labour Court hearing

IMG_1848Mandate Trade Union has received notification from the Labour Court that a hearing will take place on Wednesday, 29th October 2014 in relation to the Decency for Dunnes Workers Campaign.

The union says it has been left with no alternative but to attend the Labour Court after the company failed to even meet the Union to consider demands made by our members.

The Decency for Dunnes Workers Campaign has a number of key demands including:

  • The introduction of banded hour contracts which will ensure security of hours and earnings;
  • A review of pay scales and pay rates currently in operation in the business;
  • A review of temporary contracts that are being over utilised;
  • The right to representation for Mandate members in Dunnes Stores.
  • 3% pay increase

Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said the campaign has had some success but ultimately the company has failed to deliver for their workers.

“While Dunnes management has given in to our demands for a 3 percent pay increase and have offered a number of permanent contracts, the company hasn’t gone far enough and has left us with no option but to seek a Labour Court hearing,” he said.

Mr Light emphasized this isn’t the first time Dunnes have behaved in this manner:

“The company has yet again refused to engage in good faith negotiations with their workers’ representatives. This is a regular occurrence and it’s simply not good enough.

“They force us into taking a specific referral (Section 20) to the Labour Court,” he said, “and if past experience is anything to go by they probably won’t turn up.”

He added, “They ignore their workers’ representatives and they ignore the state’s mechanisms for resolving disputes – the Labour Court. Based on previous experience, we don’t expect them to behave any differently now – but that’s why we need to continue growing our campaign.”

Mr Light emphasized the need for all Dunnes workers to join their union.

“We want to make significant change in Dunnes Stores but that is only achievable if everybody is united in their union. Workers in Tesco, Supervalu (Superquinn), Penneys and other retail competitors of Dunnes have managed to win banded hour contracts with minimum levels of income and secure contracts of employment. Dunnes workers, we believe, are entitled to the same quality of contracts. But in order to achieve them, we need all Dunnes workers to join our campaign and join their union.”

Today is World Day for Decent Work and Mandate says it is significant that this Labour Court announcement is made today.

“Ireland has had a dramatic reduction in the quality of employment over the past number of years,” said Mr Light.

“Since 2008, we’ve seen a 60 percent increase in involuntary part-time working – meaning workers want more hours but do not have access to them. Dunnes, as one of the largest private sector employers in the country has played a large part in that phenomenon, whether they realise it or not. That’s why winning decent contracts of employment in Dunnes Stores is so important, not only for the workers in Dunnes, but for all other workers in precarious employment across Ireland.”

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