Kerry Dunnes Stores Workers To Strike On Holy Thursday

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Dunnes Stores, North Circular Road.

WORKERS at three Dunnes Stores branches in Kerry are set to join their colleagues around the country in a national one-day strike on Holy Thursday.

About 200 workers in the Kerry stores, who are members of the Mandate trade union, are set to join about 5,000 other staff from 112 outlets as part of the strike during Easter Week.

Holy Thursday is a very busy shopping day, especially in their off-licence section, where people stock up alcohol for Good Friday when sales of alcohol are banned.

The stoppage relates to a dispute over pay, contracts and an alleged refusal by the company to negotiate with the union on grievances under the terms of an agreement reached in 1996 .

Mandate said over two thirds of its members at the company voted in favour of industrial action.

Mandate say Dunnes Stores workers want a number of issues addressed including:

• The implementation of banded hour contracts which would give workers security of hours and earnings.
• Fair pay for all workers in Dunnes Stores.
• A review of Dunnes’ excessive use of temporary contracts of employment.
• Individual and collective representational rights for Dunnes workers.

Gerry Light, Mandate Assistant General Secretary said: “Despite Dunnes Stores threatening job losses and cuts in hours, our members have taken the remarkable and very brave decision of voting in favour of industrial action. The close result of this ballot is a reflection of the nervousness felt by staff members over their security of income and security of their jobs.”

“They have reached the end of the road and in many ways the result of the ballot today was the inevitable waiting to happen. Where else can they go after the Company has closed off and rejected all reasonable approaches by the Union and the Labour Court to deal with the issues in dispute?”

Mr Light concluded: “One again we are saying directly to senior management and the owners of the Company that industrial action is entirely avoidable. Furthermore we are calling on them to do the responsible, reasonable and morally correct thing, and that is to enter into meaningful discussions with Mandate Trade Union. This is obviously in the best interests of the workers and of the company.”

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