Update: Mandate Members in Dunnes Stores
A letter like this from Dunnes should come as no surprise to you. Numerous and well-documented attempts by your Union and the Labour Relations Commission over the past months to meet with Dunnes senior managers and owners to resolve the main grievances and concerns have been completely ignored or rejected by the Company.
Dunnes also rejected the Labour Court’s recommendation that stated the Company have an obligation to sit down with the Union to discuss all of the issues in dispute. It’s no coincidence that the only thing that has made Dunnes take notice and respond with tactics such as extra communication meetings and now a letter like this has been the decision to ballot for industrial action. It is a clear indication that you through your Union are growing in strength and Dunnes are concerned.
Below are some responses to the points and mis-information raised in the Dunnes letter which you can read and share with your colleagues. Below is also a link to the Labour Court recommendation issued last November which is clear and unambiguous.
Obviously you and your fellow members have a very difficult but important decision to make. This is the time to decide whether you are prepared to put up with this type of dismissive behaviour from your employer or to fight back and to show through collective strength and action that you demand better and fairer treatment permanently into the future.
Continue to encourage others to join and attend your local ballot meeting in the coming days for more information.
Response to points raised in the Dunnes unsigned letter to employees – 4 February 2015
1. The company wrongly accuse the union and the members of not engaging in accordance with the requirements of the Grievance Procedure. Nothing could be further from the truth and the written records clearly speak for themselves. Notwithstanding this procedural smokescreen the letter goes on to clearly state that the company has no intention of directly engaging with the Union as the procedure stipulates.
2. The company gave pay increases only after receiving formal claims from the Union and on one occasion they gave it the day before a Labour Court hearing to grant the increase.
3. It is mentioned on a number of occasions that all employees freely entered employment with the company on the terms offered. This suggests an attitude of, if you don’t like it then leave.
4. The company claims that the Union is generating concern and fear in relation to issues that “do not exist” as if the Union was making it up. Well, if the recent Decency for Dunnes Workers Survey taken by 1,200 workers is anything to go by there are serious and significant issues being raised by Dunnes workers and to claim that they don’t exist is an insult. For example: 98% of workers want more stable hours; 85% say insecurity of hours and rostering is used as a method of control over workers; 88% feel they are not treated with dignity & respect; 98% of workers want Dunnes to respect their right to trade union representation.
5. The suggestion that there is an “open door” culture in the company and that managers are available to deal with problems at all times flies in the face of how workers claim they are treated on a daily basis.
6. Contrary to the suggestions contained in the letter the Union is not attempting to “legally force” the company to the negotiating table. Collective strength and determination is the only way this can be achieved.
7. It is suggested that the company “wholeheartedly endorses” each employees right to join a Union but then goes on to state that there is no intention by the company to engage with the Union. This approach treats Union members with contempt and grossly insults their individual and collective intelligence.
8. There is a clear and crude attempt made to scare and threaten employees by suggesting that if the dispute goes ahead “redundancies and layoffs” will ensue. This is behaviour of the lowest form and should be given the response that it deserves.
To view the full Labour Court Recommendation, please click here.
To read the full letter from Dunnes Stores to their workers, please click here.