Mandate Trade Union launch campaign for decent work in Dunnes Stores

Mandate Trade Union has today (Sunday, 27th April 2014) launched the Decency for Dunnes Workers Campaign at the unions’ Biennial Delegate Conference in Killarney, Co. Kerry.Dunnes Campaign Launch

Mandate, which represents more than 4,000 workers in Dunnes Stores, said the campaign is being launched in order to tackle the ongoing deterioration of employment standards for Dunnes workers nationally and to bring employment conditions in line with the company’s major competitors in the retail sector.

Mandate members in Dunnes Stores stores have identified four key demands for the national campaign, including:

  • Decent hours and earnings;
  • Job security;
  • Fair pay; and
  • The right to trade union representation.

Launching the campaign, Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said:

“There has been a dramatic increase in precarious work across the Irish retail sector and we have serious concerns based on feedback from our members that the employment standards in Dunnes Stores have deteriorated in recent years.

“Our members are demanding that the company address their key issues of concern. In this context, the union will be lodging a substantial claim with the company in the immediate future addressing all of the pertinent issues including a claim for a pay increase.”

Dunnes Stores is the most successful Irish owned retailer employing 14,000 workers across 116 stores in the Republic of Ireland. Mandate believe this campaign is an important step in the fight for decent work in the Irish retail sector.

Mr Light said, “There are now 147,000 people in the Irish economy classified as ‘underemployed’, meaning they cannot get enough hours of work. Many employers, particularly retail employers, are using the allocation of hours as a method of control and discipline over their workers and they do this by issuing low and zero hour contracts.”

“Workers in Dunnes Stores are seeking the right to ‘banded hour contracts’ similar to their counterparts in Tesco, Supervalu and Penneys. This would give Dunnes workers a level of security over their hours and earnings.”

The union also argues that despite a National Agreement being in place since 1996, Dunnes management has refused to implement the terms of the agreement meaning workers have been denied their right to representation, both individually and collectively.

“It is simply unacceptable to enter into an agreement with your staff only to walk away from it without any explanation. We want the company to implement the terms of the 1996 agreement with immediate effect and allow our members the right to representation that they are entitled to,” he said.

Mr Light concluded, “Major employers like Dunnes Stores must not be allowed to continue to erode the employment conditions of workers in the Irish retail sector. The success of this campaign will depend on the participation of all Dunnes workers. Our members are simply seeking the decency they deserve in the workplace.”

For updates on the Dunnes Stores campaign, go to


Campaign goals

  • Decent hours and earnings. Dunnes workers report low and insecure working hours.   Workers want standard banded hour contracts that provide decent and secure hours and earnings similar to other major retailers.
  • Job Security: Dunnes workers report the use of insecure fixed and temporary contracts. Workers are seeking permanent contracts and that temporary or fixed contracts only be used in exceptional circumstances.
  • Fair Pay. Dunnes workers report rates of pay below industry standards and  inconsistent pay scales across stores. Workers want a fair pay rise along with the cost of living increases and transparent universal pay scales
  • Representation and the Right to Dignity at Work. Dunnes workers are denied trade union representation by the company. Workers want their right to individual and collective represented to be recognised and respected by Dunnes.