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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.

Dunnes Worker’s National Survey 2022 launched today

The Dunnes Stores National Committee has launched a Pay & Benefits survey for all Dunnes Stores workers which can be completed by clicking here.

The survey will be open for six weeks and will help develop a pay and benefits claim that will improve living standards for members of Mandate Trade Union working in Dunnes.

Issues in the survey include:

  • Pay
  • Allocation of hours
  • Rostering
  • Staffing levels
  • Dignity and respect; and,
  • Identifying what your priorities are for the year ahead.

Cathy, a Dunnes worker from Dundalk, Co. Louth and member of the Dunnes National Committee said:

“The Dunnes National Committee want to hear from Dunnes workers all across the country and together we want to formulate a campaign for improvements to our working lives. We need as many people to complete the survey as possible so we have a better understanding of the issues Dunnes workers are facing right now.”

She added, “We’re asking all shop stewards and activists to circulate the survey in WhatsApp groups, social media groups and wherever else they can get it to Dunnes workers.”

Patrick, Dunnes worker from Ballina, Co. Mayo concluded: “Last year Dunnes workers came together and formulated a campaign to make the 10% Covid Premium permanent and to continue the 20% staff discount. We won. We want to build on that so please complete this survey and join our campaign.”

You can follow the Decency for Dunnes Workers campaign on social media at these links – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dunnes worker survey to be launched in coming weeks

The Dunnes Stores National Committee will be launching our Pay & Benefits survey for Dunnes members in the coming weeks.

The survey will be open for six weeks and will help your National Committee to develop a pay and benefits claim that will improve living standards for members of Mandate Trade Union working in Dunnes.

Included in the survey will be issues including: pay; allocation of hours; rostering; staffing levels; dignity and respect; and, crucially, identifying what your priorities are for the year ahead.

Alex, a Dunnes worker from Dublin and member of the Dunnes National Committee said:

“It’s vitally important that everyone working in Dunnes fills in this survey. It will help us to identify the issues that are most important to Dunnes workers and will enable us to construct a pay and benefits claim along with a national campaign to achieve our goals within the company.”

He added, “We’re asking all shop stewards and activists to ensure the survey is circulated in WhatsApp groups, social media groups and wherever else they can get it to Dunnes workers.”

The survey will be issued to all Dunnes workers through text message, email and on social media.

You can follow the Decency for Dunnes Workers campaign on social media at these links – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Banded Hours Update

Mandate Trade Union has been made aware that some employers are refusing to process Banded Hour Contract requests citing that they only happen at a particular time of the year.

This is not true!

All workers who are not covered by a collective agreement governing “Banded Hours”, which includes Dunnes Stores workers, are entitled to lodge a claim for secure hours provided they have more than 12 months service and have not lodged a claim in the previous 12 months.

If you lodged a claim for a new secure hour contract in February 2021, for instance, you are entitled to lodge a claim now, or at any point in the future. That may mean lodging it in June, if you so wish, or else November. There is no restriction on when you can lodge it.

Applying for a Banded Hour Contract

  • Where an employee’s contract of employment does not reflect the number of hours worked per week, the employee is entitled to be placed in the appropriate band of weekly working hours.
  • The appropriate band is determined having regard to the average number of hours worked by the employee in the relevant 12 month reference period. This number of hours does not include annual leave.
  • An employee who believes that they should be placed in a band of weekly working hours must make a written request to their employer.
BandFromTo
A3 hours6 hours
B6 hours11 hours
C11 hours16 hours
D16 hours21 hours
E21 hours26 hours
F26 hours31 hours
G31 hours36 hours
H36 hours and over

Implementation

  • Refusals may be granted under certain circumstances.
  • However, where an employee’s request is granted, they must be placed in the appropriate band within 4 weeks of the date of the request.
  • An employee who is placed in a band of weekly working hours must work the average hours for that band for a period of at least twelve months.

Penalisation

  • An employer must not penalise or threaten to penalise an employee (changes in hours, demotion, transfer of duties, change of location, reduction in wages, etc)
  • The maximum award that can be made in respect of an act of penalisation is an amount equivalent up to four weeks’ remuneration for the employee concerned.
  • If an employee successfully claims penalisation under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, the maximum award is two years’ remuneration.

Compliance

  • Where an employee believes their employer has failed to place them in the appropriate band of weekly working hours, the employee may make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission through their Union.
  • A decision of an adjudication officer can require the employer to comply with this section and place the employee on the appropriate band of hours.

Appeals & Enforcement

  • If the employer does not appeal the adjudication officer’s decision, an application can be made to the District Court for enforcement.
  • Either party may appeal a decision of an adjudication officer to the Labour Court.
  • A decision of the Labour Court shall affirm, vary or set aside the decision of the adjudication officer.
  • If the Labour Court affirms the adjudication officer’s decision but the company refuses to implement the changes, an application can be made to the District Court for enforcement.

For more information on banded hours click here.

Congratulations to all Dunnes activists for 10% win

The Dunnes Stores National Committee wishes to thank all members and activists who engaged in the successful campaign to consolidate the temporary 10% Covid premium into pay and ensure the continuation of our 20% staff discount.

The victory was announced just before Christmas after almost two years of campaigning.

Thousands of Dunnes members signed petitions, engaged in surveys and some even protested outside of Head Office. Dunnes Stores customers even launched their own petition and helped produce a video showing their appreciation to the staff.

All of these activities helped us to achieve our goal of a significant pay increase and fair staff discount for all Dunnes workers. Now, in order to maintain these benefits, and importantly, to improve on them, we need every worker in Dunnes to join our campaign and join our Union.

If you know anyone in your store who is not a member of Mandate, ask them to join today by clicking here.

Together we are stronger.

Dunnes Stores National Committee thank public and politicians for helping to secure pay increase

The Dunnes Stores National Committee consisting of Mandate shop stewards from across the country have thanked the public and some politicians for their support in obtaining a 10% pay increase and 20% staff discount.

The workers celebrated their victory in December 2021 but say this win wouldn’t have been possible without the backing of their colleagues, as well as the Dunnes Stores customers.

Cathy McLoughlin from Dunnes Stores in Dundalk said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who backed us. Dunnes don’t negotiate with our union, Mandate, so we have to put pressure on them in a variety of different ways. That’s why our customer petition and the support our customer showed in videos was so important.”

Padraig O’Reilly from Dunnes Stores in Clonakilty added: “We asked every TD in the country to sign the petition and told them we’d be letting all of our 10,000 colleagues know who stood with us and who didn’t. That’s why we’re publishing the list today. You can read that list in full by clicking here.

Early Christmas present for Dunnes Stores workers as they win 10% pay increase

Almost 10,000 workers in Dunnes Stores have seen a 10% increase in their pay today after the company conceded a claim from members of Mandate Trade Union.

Mandate lodged the claim with the company in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. The company originally awarded the 10% pay increase as a temporary measure but following a “relentless” campaign led by Mandate members in Dunnes it has now been consolidated into pay, meaning it is reckonable for pension and annual leave purposes.

The temporary staff discount of 20% has also been extended by the Dunnes workers indefinitely, according to reports.

Dunnes worker from Dundalk and member of Mandate’s Dunnes National Committee, Cathy McLoughlin said:

“We are delighted to see the 10% in our payslips this morning, it’ll make such a big difference for all of us. I know lots of my colleagues are struggling to pay bills after rent and house price increases, along with fuel increases. So this is a very welcome Christmas present for them.”

Ms McLoughlin urged all Dunnes workers to join the campaign for further improvements to pay and benefits in Dunnes:

“This pay increase wasn’t just handed to us from nowhere. We had to fight for it, and we’ve gotten our just reward. Imagine what we could do if we have even more members and activists in Dunnes. I’m urging all my colleagues to join Mandate Trade Union today.”

Mandate say this is a significant win with Mandate’s Assistant General Secretary Jonathan Hogan stating:

“This is a remarkable victory for our activists and members in Dunnes who have pushed this campaign for more than 18 months.

“It is only the beginning and it’s an opportunity for all Dunnes workers who want improved conditions of employment. For years Dunnes has refused to engage in collective bargaining with their Union resulting in workers having no option but to campaign for basic changes to their terms and conditions of employment. These improvements will only be possible if the workers mobilise collectively around these issues”.

Mr Hogan commended the Dunnes workers for their relentless activities:

“Earlier this year the Dunnes workers launched a petition signed by more than 2,500 of their colleagues calling on the company to make their 10% Covid Premium and 20% staff discount permanent.

“Then they held a protest outside Head Office to raise awareness of the campaign. Following this customers launched their own petition signed by more than 7,500 in support of the workers. Now all of their activities have come to fruition and we couldn’t be prouder of them.”

“The message is clear,” Hogan added, “join your union and become active in it and you can win life changing pay and benefit improvements.”

7000 Customer Signatures Supporting Dunnes Workers

Since the Uplift Petition calling on Dunnes to make their worker’s 10% Covid-19 premium and 20% staff discount permanent, customers from all over the country have expressed their support. Momentum is building with almost 7,000 customer petition signatures so far.

If you have not already done so, remember to share the link to the petition with friends and family to send a strong message to the company: Dunnes, reward your workers for their Covid-19 sacrifice!

Petition link https://tinyurl.com/DunnesCustomerPetition

“The staff are brilliant and very helpful. They go over and above what is expected of them to help the customers. They should get a raise in wages”

Frances Mansfield M (Customer)

Watch customers in Dublin’s North Earl Street express their support and solidarity with Dunnes staff in their fight to make their Covid premiums permanent:

2,500 Dunnes Stores workers demand 10% Covid payment and 20% staff discount to be made permanent

Dunnes workers deliver petition to Dunnes Stores’ Head Office

More than 2,500 Dunnes Stores workers have signed a petition calling on the company to make their temporary 10 percent Covid payment and 20 percent staff bonus permanent.

Last year workers in Dunnes successfully campaigned for the temporary measures to be put in place as recognition for their hard work and the risks to their health and safety during the global pandemic. Now the workers want the measures to be made permanent.

Cathy who works in the Dundalk store said:

“We haven’t had a pay increase since 2019 but we’ve had a temporary 10% allowance added to our pay last year. That isn’t factored into our pensions or if we go on holidays we lose out. We think, after the last 18 months of working very hard through a deadly pandemic, that the least Dunnes can do is recognise our efforts by making these changes permanent.”

Anna who works in the Ongar store said:

“Grocery sales have been exceptionally busy since the pandemic and we’ve seen reports of most retailers having an extra 17% of spending. We’ve been dealing with more customers and processing more goods. We know that Dunnes can afford this and we feel we deserve it after all we’ve been through.”

Today at 1pm a number of the Dunnes Stores workers will be presenting the signatures of the 2,500 workers to management in Head Office on Georges Street in the hopes it will convince them to make the Covid payment and staff discount permanent.

Padraig from the Clonakilty store explained:

“Head Office know how hard we’ve worked but we want to show management that we’re determined to make these changes permanent. That’s why we’re delivering these petitions today. It’s been a tough time for all of us but the company is doing very well so it’s time we were all rewarded fairly.”

The petition states:

“We, the undersigned staff working in Dunnes Stores, call on you to make the 10% pay rise and 20% discount card permanent. We worked hard keeping Dunnes Stores running and serving our communities through Covid-19. We feel this is something we have earned.”

Dunnes workers launch pay and benefits petition

Mandate Trade Union activists in Dunnes Stores have unanimously endorsed the rolling out of a new national petition which calls on management to make both the 10% Covid premium and 20% discount card permanent.

The Dunnes National Committee wrote to the Directors of Dunnes Stores on 12th May seeking agreement that these arrangements would permanently remain in place. The Directors have not yet responded.

Members of the National Committee are calling on all Dunnes Stores workers to sign the petition and encourage others to support it too.

“It is so important that we are all united on this. Dunnes Stores has seen massive revenue increases since the pandemic began, meaning increased profits. But it is us, Dunnes Stores workers, who have been on the front lines helping to keep the place going. We deserve recognition for that,” said Patrick Killeen, Dunnes Stores worker and member of the National Committee.

Cathy McLoughlin, also a member of the National Committee and Dunnes Stores worker added: “If we want to ensure this 10% premium is continued, and we want to keep our 20% discount, then the more names on the petition we get, the more likely Dunnes management will take notice of us. That means we all have to chip in and help out.”

Copies of the petition can be obtained by emailing Gerard Halligan at ghalligan@mandate.ie

All completed petitions should be given to your local shop steward and posted back to Mandate Head Office in a pre-paid return envelope no later than July 1st.

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