Dunnes Stores pressure tactics on workers is nothing new

A message from Karen Wall
(former Dunnes worker & Mandate Divisional Organiser)

Disputes are never easy and I should know having worked in Dunnes Stores for more than 20 years. Right now I feel a great sense of déjà vu as I recall the intense pressure in the days leading up to the disputes in the 90’s.

Those of you who shared the experience of those picket lines know exactly what to expect in the lead up to this dispute but for many Mandate members they are experiencing it all for the very first time and it is both challenging and difficult.

It is inevitable that management will try to dissuade you from following through with the democratic collective decision that was made in the national ballot and try to convince you that stores around the country are crumbling when in truth they know, as a united group of workers, you are becoming increasingly powerful. The real truth is membership continues to grow and strengthen on a daily basis all across the country.

Communication meetings will be called, and frequently. Key people as well as the most vulnerable will be targeted. Propaganda, misinformation and untruths will be spun by the company, all in an effort to break the dispute. The simple question is why are Senior Management putting so much energy into stopping you from engaging in industrial action when their time and energy would be better served in entering into meaningful engagement with your Union to resolve the issues in dispute.

Do not underestimate how important you are as a worker. I believe workers are a company’s best and most valuable asset. As a united group of more than 5,000 union members working in Dunnes you have the collective power to make real change. It is important that you are also aware of the genuine support from the thousands of your fellow union members, many of whom work for Dunnes main competitors in the retail sector.

Now is the time to believe in yourself and to trust your instincts. Draw strength from the power of the collective and take action to make real and lasting change happen. You deserve better jobs, decent hours and earnings, and respect. It is time to stand firm for what you believe in and fight for Decency for all Dunnes workers – young and old, full time and part time, all nationalities united in a common goal.