Dunnes Stores workers call on public not to pass pickets

One of Ireland’s largest ever private sector strikes takes place today as up to 6,000 Dunnes Stores workers in 109 stores will take industrial action.

The workers have four key demands including:

  • Secure hours and earnings;
  • Job security;
  • Fair pay for all Dunnes workers; and
  • The right to trade union representation.

The Dunnes workers are asking the public to please respect their pickets and do their shopping elsewhere today.

Muireann Dalton, Dunnes worker in Newtownmountkennedy said:

“We don’t want to be out on strike today. None of us can afford to lose a day’s pay. But unfortunately our employer has left us with no other option so we’re asking the public to support our campaign for decency at work by not passing our pickets.”

She continued: “All we’re asking for is the same rights that other retail workers have. We want secure hours so we can plan our lives and we want to have our voices heard. If it’s good enough for Tesco, Penneys, Supervalu and Marks & Spencer workers, then why shouldn’t Dunnes workers have the same rights?”

Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said: “Dunnes workers are taking a very brave stance today and they have to be commended for it. Their employer has threatened them with cuts to hours, inconvenient rostering and even job losses, and remarkably they are courageously standing firm.

“Today Dunnes workers will strike for decent work and decent incomes, not only for themselves, but for their families and their work colleagues too. They’re demonstrating real leadership to every low-paid, precarious worker in the country. By standing together as a unified workforce, they can and they will make real change in their workplace,” he said.

“Today’s action is regrettable, simply for the fact that it was so easily avoidable. All Dunnes had to do was pick up the phone and agree to meaningfully engage. Sadly they’ve chosen the route of conflict rather than behaving in a responsible manner. This is not how any employer should behave in twenty first century Ireland,” Mr Light concluded.

Dunnes Stores refuses to meaningfully engage with Mandate Trade Union in relation to any of the issues in dispute, despite having a signed collective agreement with the Union. They are also refusing to engage with the state’s industrial relations bodies, the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) and the Labour Court.

The Labour Court, in the absence of Dunnes Stores, has issued a Recommendation stating the Company has an obligation to engage with the workers’ representatives, Mandate Trade Union.