Dunnes workers lodge life-changing pay claim

Union seeks minimum 7.7% pay increase for all workers

Dunnes Stores workers today lodged a pay claim with the company seeking significant pay increases, additional annual leave days, improvements to the staff discount scheme and the creation of full-time jobs.

Citing increased living costs and the positive contribution of staff to the business during the pandemic, the workers say they should be rewarded fairly for the work they do.

“Workers all over the country are struggling right now, yet many employers, like Dunnes Stores, are capable of paying higher wages and improving conditions of employment. Those that can pay, should pay,” said Patrick Killeen, Dunnes worker from Mayo and member of Mandate Trade Union’s Dunnes National Committee.

“What we want is a brand new pay scale for all Dunnes Stores workers which provides a decent standard of living and rewards us for our loyalty and experience,” added Killeen.

If successful, this new pay scale would provide those on the lowest point of the pay scale with a 7.7 percent hourly pay increase and those on the top with 7.9 percent increase.

“We believe this is reasonable given inflation is currently running at more than 9 percent,” said Killeen.

Mandate’s National Coordinator Lorraine O’Brien explained: 

“There are multiple pay scales in Dunnes Stores where some workers are on higher wages than others for doing the exact same job. We want to harmonise the pay and benefits for all Dunnes workers but we want to ensure pay equality is done in a way that brings the lowest earners up to the top.”

New pay & annual leave increments

ServiceRate of payAnnual Leave
 Year 1 €13.30ph 21 Days
 Year 2 €14.00ph 22 Days
 Year 3 €14.75ph 23 Days
 Year 4 €15.50ph 24 Days
 Year 5 €16.25ph 25 Days
Year 6 €17.75ph25 Days
Year 10 €19.75ph25 Days

The pay claim has been formed following extensive consultation with Dunnes workers, including a survey of more than 1600 staff.

Some of the key results include:

  • 92% said if hours become available they should be offered to existing staff first.
  • Nine out of ten workers agreed that additional annual leave should be provided.
  • 87% said understaffing is an issue in their store.
  • 79% say all workers should have access to the same incremental pay scale.
  • When asked whether they felt they were being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve 65% said no, and only one in five said yes.
  • 51% of post-2007 staff said they want to work additional hours.

“The allocation of hours and understaffing are serious concerns for Dunnes workers. Many of us want to work longer hours because we can’t pay our bills, but the company won’t allow us, choosing to either understaff stores, which leads to huge pressure on staff, which in turn leads to health and safety concerns, or else they hire more workers on lower rates of pay,” said Alex Homits, Dunnes worker and Mandate activist from Dublin.

The workers are also seeking changes to the sick pay scheme.

Alex explained: “We’re still in the midst of a pandemic which has changed how we should look at things like sick pay. Dunnes workers and tens of thousands of other shop workers risked their lives and their health over the last two years and the least we should get is a decent sick pay scheme.”

He added: “Right now thousands of workers are forced to come to work with illnesses because of financial necessity. That’s not good for the worker, their families or our customers who often pick up the illnesses we have. We want an 8 week paid sick pay scheme and all staff should have access to this after their 6 month probation.”

Another item on the Dunnes workers’ pay claim is fully paid maternity and paternity leave.

“With the cost of energy, rents, house prices and everything else going up so much in recent months, it is impossible to survive without fully paid maternity leave. If workers don’t have enough income when on maternity or paternity leave, not only do they suffer, but their children suffer too,” said Liz Loftus, Dunnes worker from Dublin and Mandate activist.

Meeting

A national meeting open to all Dunnes Stores workers will take place online on Tuesday August 23rd at 8pm for 1 hour. The purpose of the meeting is to outline the results of our recent Dunnes workers survey and to give a briefing on your new pay and benefits claim which Mandate has lodged with the company on behalf of our members. If you wish to attend please input your details below to register.

FULL DUNNES PAY & BENEFITS CLAIM 2022
1. Fair Pay & Annual Leave
 Create one equal pay scale for all Dunnes workers with access to top point after 10 year’s service. Additional annual leave entitlements based on service with the company.  

 ServiceRate of payAnnual Leave
 Year 1 €13.30ph 21 Days
 Year 2 €14.00ph 22 Days
 Year 3 €14.75ph 23 Days
 Year 4 €15.50ph 24 Days
 Year 5 €16.25ph 25 Days
Year 6 €17.75ph25 Days
Year 10 €19.75ph25 Days
  • Minimum unsocial hours rate (10pm-8am) of Time +1/2
  • Minimum public holiday rate of Time +1/2 (and an additional day’s pay)

* After 25 years’ service Dunnes workers continue to receive an extra week of annual leave bringing their total to 30 days.

2. Privilege card

Remove monthly limit (€1,000) on staff discount card.

3. Sick pay
8 weeks paid sick leave and all staff to have access to sick pay after their 6 month probation.
4. Full Time Jobs & Allocation of Hours 
 The opportunity for Dunnes workers to obtain full time jobs. Additional hours should be offered on a fair and equitable basis to existing staff before hiring new workers.  
 
5. Fair Scheduling
 Fairer scheduling for a better work/life balance. All Dunnes workers to receive a four week roster with changes only through mutual agreement. One weekend off in every four. More flexibility from Management with day off requests. A workplace with safe and adequate staffing levels.

6.Maternity/Paternity/Parental leave/Parent’s leave
 
All workers to receive full pay when on Maternity and Paternity Leave. More flexibility when taking Parental Leave to enable workers to take it as separate days or weeks. More flexibility when taking Parent’s Leave, taken as separate weeks.

7. Right to Representation
Dunnes Stores management must recognise and respect their workers’ right to individual and collective representation by their Trade Union.