Labour Court to hear Dunnes workers’ case for secure hours on June 1st

Mandate lodge 3% pay claim for all Dunnes workers

The Labour Court has confirmed June 1st 2016 as the date for a hearing in the dispute between Mandate Trade Union and Dunnes Stores. This will be one of the first Labour Court hearings under the new Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015.

The hearing is in relation to the ongoing refusal of Dunnes Stores management to provide certainty of hours and earnings for their workers. Mandate say the company can still do the “decent thing” and resolve the dispute by sitting down and negotiating with the workers through their union.

John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary said: “While we welcome the Labour Court’s announcement of a date for the hearing, it is very frustrating that it has come to this. The refusal by Dunnes Stores to honour their existing collective agreement with their workers’ representatives Mandate is a disgrace and they should be ashamed of themselves.

“All Dunnes workers are looking for is a little bit of decency and certainty in their weekly income. It’s not too much to ask to know from one week to the next that you will be able to pay your bills and feed your children,” said Mr Douglas.

More than 6,000 Dunnes Stores workers took industrial action last April in pursuit of secure hours and incomes, after which the company began a campaign of retribution including cutting hours and changing rosters for some, and dismissing others.

After the strike and a national protest march, new legislation was passed that would allow the Labour Court to issue binding determinations that would be enforceable in the Circuit Court. This will be one of the first major cases of its kind in the Labour Court.

Meanwhile, Mandate have lodged a claim for a 3pc pay increase at Dunnes Stores but have so far not heard back from management. The Union has won 9pc in pay increases over three years at the company and the current pay arrangement expires on the 12th May 2016.

Furthermore, Dunnes Stores workers won the inaugural Madiba (Nelson Mandela) award at the Mandate Trade Union Biennial Delegate Conference in Galway on April 18th. The award was given by the Unions National Executive Committee to the 6,000 Dunnes workers in recognition of the courage and conviction during their dispute in 2015.

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Dunnes Stores employs 10,000 workers in 114 stores in the Republic of Ireland and is one of Ireland’s largest private sector companies.

View the Labour Court letter confirming the date here.