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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 5 April, 2020

Thousands of Dunnes staff are only one step away from mass strikes

Their union says workers are being denied a basic standard of living.

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THOUSANDS OF DUNNES Stores workers will vote on whether to go on strike over what they claim are shoddy job conditions at the retailer.

Mandate shop stewards agreed “overwhelmingly” to take the next step towards wholesale industrial action, the union said.

It said a vote among all the Dunnes workers it represented would go ahead because the company refused to put in place last year’s recommendation from the Labour Court that it sit down with union officials to resolve the dispute.

Mandate has been complaining about pay and conditions for workers, including the company’s “excessive use” of temporary contracts.

A union survey found over three-quarters of workers were on part-time, flexible contracts with almost all staff in favour of more stable hours.

It represents over one-quarter of Dunnes’ 15,000-odd employees and a final decision on strikes will come after those members are polled in the coming weeks.

No standard of living

Mandate assistant general secretary Gerry Light said many workers still couldn’t get mortgages or loans due to the lack of security in their working conditions.

The combination of low pay and flexible hours means that many Dunnes workers cannot afford to provide a basic standard of living for themselves and their dependents,” he said.

The union earlier said strikes could be “unavoidable” after the retailer told the Labour Court there was “no purpose” in meeting workers over their complaints.

Dunnes has been contacted for comment on the dispute but hasn’t responded at the time of publication.

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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