Over 6,000 Dunnes Stores workers are ready to go on strike across the country today.
Work stoppages will take place in 107 stores across the country after 67% of the Mandate Trade Union’s voted in action of the strike.
The dispute is over an “excessive” use of temporary contracts and a refusal to negotiate over grievances.
The workers have four key demands including:
- Secure hours and earnings;
- Job security;
- Fair pay for all Dunnes workers; and
- The right to trade union representation.
The Dunnes workers are asking the public to please respect their pickets and do their shopping elsewhere today.
Muireann Dalton, Dunnes worker in Newtownmountkennedy said:
“We don’t want to be out on strike today. None of us can afford to lose a day’s pay. But unfortunately our employer has left us with no other option so we’re asking the public to support our campaign for decency at work by not passing our pickets.”
She continued: “All we’re asking for is the same rights that other retail workers have. We want secure hours so we can plan our lives and we want to have our voices heard. If it’s good enough for Tesco, Penneys, Supervalu and Marks & Spencer workers, then why shouldn’t Dunnes workers have the same rights?”
Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said: “Dunnes workers are taking a very brave stance today and they have to be commended for it. Their employer has threatened them with cuts to hours, inconvenient rostering and even job losses, and remarkably they are courageously standing firm.
“Today Dunnes workers will strike for decent work and decent incomes, not only for themselves, but for their families and their work colleagues too. They’re demonstrating real leadership to every low-paid, precarious worker in the country. By standing together as a unified workforce, they can and they will make real change in their workplace,” he said.
“Today’s action is regrettable, simply for the fact that it was so easily avoidable. All Dunnes had to do was pick up the phone and agree to meaningfully engage. Sadly they’ve chosen the route of conflict rather than behaving in a responsible manner. This is not how any employer should behave in twenty first century Ireland,” Mr Light concluded.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton is appealing for both sides to start talks.
“The only way for this to be resolved is through the work of the Labour Relations Commission,” said Minister Bruton. “We would urge the employer to engage in that process,”