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'Everyone needs to get behind Dunnes workers, in the name of common decency'

Thousands of Dunnes Stores employees are out on strike today.
Apr 2nd 2015, 11:15 PM 35,049 122

Updated 11.15 pm

POLITICAL LEADERS HAVE slammed Dunnes Stores for launching an online sale to coincide with a strike today, describing it as “cynical”.

Fianna Fáil’s Michael Martin said the workers need to be supported in their strike, “in the name of common decency”.

Thousands of workers are on the picket line this afternoon as the Mandate trade union calls for fair contracts for employees and access to union representation.

The union has described the strike as “entirely avoidable”, criticising the chain for not engaging with employees.

We spoke to workers on the picket line in St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, and politicians who came out to show their support:

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

One Dunnes employee, Joan, told TheJournal.ie that employees are demanding decent hours and proper contracts. She siad:

We looking for a bit of respect from management, because we don’t great treated properly.

However, many don’t hold out hope on this. Another employee, Chris, said he hopes the strike cleans a clear message to management.

“A strike does no one good, but working together will.”

“Employees have children, and bills, and they’re having to sacrifice things to make ends meet. What we’re campaigning for is that they have guaranteed hours, allowing them to budget, and make things that bit easier.”

Dunnes Stores today is offering 20% off for shoppers online, meaning customers would not have to pass pickets.

Speaking to reporters, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams described as “absolutely” a cynical move, and called for the public to be “staunch in this issue” and to stand by the striking employees.

“Workers need to stand by workers,” he said.

Michael Martin said the online sale “appeals to the lowest common demonstrator”, and that people would recoil at that kind of tactic.

Both noted that there is strong cross-party support for the workers.

Martin said more legislation needs to be brought forward to address legislative loopholes that result in employees being treated without “decent, dignity and security”.

With reporting by Michael Sheils McNamee

- First published 2.25 pm

Read: As its workers strike over unfair treatment, Dunnes responds with 1-day only online offer >

Poll: Would you shop in Dunnes today? >

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Nicky Ryan

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