Key Issues

Decent hours and earnings

Current situation: Many Dunnes Stores workers are on flexi-hour contracts and face low and insecure working hours and unpredictable working schedules which can often vary between 15-35 hours from week to week. This uncertainty of hours and earnings makes it extremely difficult for workers to earn a living wage. The situation also denies workers the opportunity to work a second job or even to qualify for social welfare supports. Workers also claim that insecurity over hours and scheduling is used as a method of control and discipline over workers.

What we want: Banded hour contracts that provide decent and secure hours and earnings similar to other major retailers like Tesco, Supervalu, and Penneys. Banded hours contracts (20-25 hours, 25-30 hours, 30-35 hours, etc.) provide greater certainty and security of hours as an employer may not drop workers below the lowest number in their band without agreement.

Job Security

Current situation: There is widespread use of fixed term and temporary contracts within Dunnes Stores. In many instances, workers’ initially get 3-month contracts followed by 6-month contracts. Many are then let go without explanation and replaced by others on similar short-term contracts. Consequently the available hours are being deliberately directed away from established members of staff.

What we want: Permanent contracts with standard probation periods. Temporary or fixed contracts should only be used for agreed periods to cover specific events such as seasonal trading demands Christmas and planned absence or leave.

Fair Pay

Current situation: There are at least three pay scales in existence in Dunnes Stores. Many workers are on low rates of pay and coupled with the flexible hours, do not have access to a ‘living wage’. In 2013 Mandate fought and won a 3% pay rise for Dunnes Stores workers.

What we want: A 3% pay rise for 2014 and transparent agreed pay scales.

Representation and Right to Dignity at Work

Current situation: Mandate Trade Union and Dunnes Stores management signed a collective agreement in 1996. Dunnes Stores have since ignored this agreement and workers are frequently denied individual and collective representation. Dunnes Stores’s main competitors in both the grocery (Tesco and Supervalu) and the drapery (Penneys and Marks & Spencer) retail industries respect the right of their workers to be represented by a trade union of their choice.

What we want: Dunnes Stores to implement the terms of the 1996 agreement with immediate effect and to recognise and respect the right of workers be represented by a trade union of their choice at both an individual and a collective level.