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Dunnes staff will "escalate" their campaign

The union is preparing a dossier of of incidents of victimisation and intimidation.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 18.55pm

THE NEXT MOVE of the Dunnes Stores National Disputes Committee, which is part of the trade union Mandate, is to “escalate” their campaign.

Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light – speaking on behalf of the committee – said that a meeting today had agreed to potential future strikes.

“Our members are angry and disappointed with the behaviour of Dunnes Stores management who have continued a campaign of intimidation and hostility against union members since they went on strike less than two weeks ago.

“However, this has only made them more determined to win decent contracts of employment for all Dunnes Stores workers.”

The committee recommended a three pronged approach as the next steps in the campaign:

  • The potential for further industrial action at the company
  • A major public event in support of the workers
  • A legal approach to pursue claims for victimisation as appropriate.

The committee also called for collective bargaining legislation – including robust anti-victimisation clauses – to be implemented as a matter of priority.

Industrial action 

Mandate Trade Union General Secretary John Douglas told TheJournal.ie earlier today that the union is reviewing accusations of reprisals from the retailer following the Holy Thursday strike.

“We are compiling a dossier of the reprisal complaints received from workers,” said Douglas.

“These have taken the form of downright dismissals to workers being moved from positions,” he explained, claiming that some workers have been moved from office work back on to the cash registers after 20 years in their role.

“This can result to a severe loss of hours.”

Dunnes Stores Strikes Pickets Xochitl Wing who has been working with Dunne Stores for over 3yrs, pictured outside the store on Exchequer Street Dublin 2. Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Douglas said those affected are largely women and that the sudden change in work hours is having a “catastrophic impact on the balance of their home and work”.

Mandate state that Dunnes Stores have refused to engage with the workers, unions, the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

Engagement

Douglas said multiple letters had been written to the company, both before and after the strike action, but there had been no response.

“The dispute is resolvable and was avoidable,” he said.

Their actions is not only damaging their corporate image, but their own customers too. We have had numerous calls and emails since the strike from shoppers asking us how they can help. They want to know if stopping shopping there or sending back their loyalty card will help in any way. There has been wide scale revulsion at their actions.

Dunnes Stores has declined to comment publicly on the dispute. TheJournal.ie requested a comment from Dunnes Stores following the revelations last week, but has received no response.

Read: Thursday: Dunnes Stores strike… Friday: Dunnes Stores dismissals>

Read: Mandate compiling dossier of “incidents of victimisation and intimidation” at Dunnes Stores>

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