Dunnes Stores workers vow to escalate campaign

Mandate Trade Union members in Dunnes Stores have today (Monday, 13th April) recommended an escalation in their campaign for decent work.

The Dunnes Stores National Dispute Committee, which comprises eleven Mandate members from across the country, came together to determine the next actions in their Decency for Dunnes Workers campaign.

Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light – speaking on behalf of the committee – said: “Our members are angry and disappointed with the behaviour of Dunnes Stores management who have continued a campaign of intimidation and hostility against union members since they went on strike less than two weeks ago.

“However, this has only made them more determined to win decent contracts of employment for all Dunnes Stores workers,” said Mr Light.

The committee recommended a three pronged approach as the next steps in the campaign:

  • The potential for further industrial action at the company;
  • A major public event in support of the workers; and
  • A legal approach to pursue claims for victimisation as appropriate.

The committee also called for collective bargaining legislation – including robust anti-victimisation clauses – to be implemented as a matter of priority.

“It is envisaged a national shop stewards meeting will take place in the coming weeks to sanction an escalation in the campaign – including the very real potential for further industrial action,” said Mr Light.

“The actions of management in Dunnes Stores in recent weeks, where they targeted workers who went on strike, has crystallised the issues in dispute for the public. Cutting peoples hours and incomes, changing their rosters to inconvenience them, demoting them from their regular positions; this is exactly what the strike was about,” said Mr Light.

In the coming weeks, the Union will be calling on the public to show their support for the Dunnes Stores workers with a major public demonstration.

“The support from the public so far has been tremendous,” said Mr Light. “We hope they’ll continue that support and we’ll be announcing a number of solidarity events alongside a major national demonstration in support of the Dunnes Stores workers in due course.”

Mr Light explained that Mandate is exploring all legal options to protect their members against victimisation by the company.

“Many of our members have been intimidated and victimised by management directly following the strike on 2nd April. We are exploring all legal options available to us in order to protect our members and prevent the company from engaging in this deplorable behaviour,” he said.