Next steps for Dunnes workers: the Labour Court

A letter from Mandate Assistant General Secretary to Dunnes members

I am happy to report to you that the legislation regarding collective bargaining has now been signed into law. This is a significant development and potentially a big step forward in the Decency for Dunnes Workers Campaign, as it is for all workers in Ireland.

The new legislation (The Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2015) provides a new legally enforceable mechanism for us to advance our claims against Dunnes Stores to the Labour Court particularly regarding the outstanding issue of certainty of weekly earnings/working hours. The legislation also provides strong anti-victimisation provisions to protect workers pursuing their rights.

We have now begun the process to prepare and bring a claim on behalf of the members in Dunnes Stores to the Labour Court under the new legislation. It is difficult to know exactly how long the process of pursuing our claim under the new legislation will take or what the Labour Court will eventually decide in our case, however we will do everything we can to achieve a speedy and successful outcome. Rest assured we will keep you well informed along every step of the way. But what we do know is that bringing this claim would be completely avoidable if the owners of Dunnes Stores honoured the existing collective agreement with Mandate members and did the decent thing to meet with you through your Union to address the issues directly in a constructive and non-confrontational manner.

In line with our claim to the Labour Court the Dunnes National Campaign Committee will be meeting very soon to consider ongoing campaign actions for the weeks and months ahead. We will be in touch further with details. Any decisions in this regard will be heavily influenced by the views gathered at the successful Galway event held at the end of August which was attended by many union activists/shop stewards who are employed in Dunnes.

Yours in Solidarity,

Gerry Light
Assistant General Secretary