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arm in arm

Dunnes Stores workers call on people to join them for today's march

The Decency for Dunnes Workers group will be taking their campaign to the company’s HQ.

Updated 6 June 1pm

DUNNES STORES WORKERS are calling on members of the public to march alongside them as they take their protests to the retailer’s head office this afternoon.

Today’s march, which kicks off at 1pm, will see workers, their families and supporters assemble at Merrion Square. They will march to the Dunnes Stores head office on Georges Street.

In a statement today, Mandate Trade Union said it expected “thousands of Dunnes Stores workers and supporters” to take part.

The protest will hear from speakers including:

  • John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary and President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
  • Patricia King, Irish Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary
  • A Dunnes Stores worker
  • Derek Keenan, member of ICTU Youth

The Decency for Dunnes Workers campaign has already led to a strike day in April and employees say they want today’s rally to be about the wider issue of worker’s rights.

“This is a march for decent work and fair pay for all workers in Ireland,” according to a Dunnes Worker quoted by the Mandate trade union.

We know the issue of low pay and precarious work isn’t specific to Dunnes Stores and affects tens of thousands of other workers right across Ireland. That’s why we hope everyone can make an effort to join us in our march because this is something that has to be tackled together.

Mandate says the ongoing dispute between Dunnes workers and management is about “secure hours and earnings, job security, fair pay and the right to representation by their trade union.”

Last month, the company agreed to a 3% pay rise for workers but Mandate’s Gerry Light says that job security is a vital issue for the workers they represent.

“As the economy recovers it’s vital we don’t base that recovery on low-paid, insecure work. There’s a responsibility on all of us – including employers, politicians and workers – to ensure that work pays for everyone in our society,” he said.

Fianna Fail said it supports the march. Its spokesperson on jobs, Dara Calleary, criticised the government for not taking “concrete action” on low hours contracts.

The youth committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions called on young workers to support the protest, adding: “Paying young workers a decent wage with fair working conditions would be a major step forward in securing a positive future for workers in every sector of the Irish economy.

Originally published 5 June. Additional reporting Aoife Barry 

Read: Dunnes Stores workers vote for a national protest march in June >

Read: Zero-hour contracts: What companies use them and what’s being done about it? >

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