We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Iceland has 27 stores in the Republic. PA

Iceland staff complain of erratic, 'hit-and-miss' wage payments under new owners

The parent company sold its 27 Irish stores in February.

A GOVERNMENT MINISTER is seeking to meet with the new owners of grocery retailer Iceland following serious concerns raised over how staff have been treated in recent weeks.

Staff have complained of erratic wage payments, which have seen some receiving a fraction of their ordinary pay packet, and others miss out on their wages altogether. 

TDs drafted in to help staff in the dispute cited one example of how one worker, who would normally be paid €340 for her week’s work, instead was left with just €25. 

Appeals have been made to the company to offer assurances that the future of the estimated remaining 300 retail jobs will be safe.

Claims have also been lodged with the Workplace Relations Commission, one union official said.

Stores sold

In February, Iceland sold all of the 27 stores it directly owned in the Republic to a new owner, saying at the time that the Irish outlets would be managed on a franchise basis.

It marked the end of almost a decade of direct control of the Ireland stores, with the new owner named as Project Point Technologies, whose director is Irish-based Indian businessman Naeem Maniar.

Maniar previously owned Iceland’s Ireland franchise until an examiner was appointed by the High Court in 2015.

The Journal contacted Iceland about the claims but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Pickets were held outside Iceland’s Coolock branch last week, as workers demonstrated calling for clarity on their future.

“They’re low-paid workers and in the middle of a cost of living crisis and it’s never been more important to be able to say you know that your wages are covered,” Sinn Féin spokesperson for workers’ rights and enterprise Louise O’Reilly said.

O’Reilly said her office had been contacted by staff in March.

“They were very worried, but the staff were told nothing will change [with the new ownership] and then all of a sudden, they find themselves getting amounts put into their bank account. One woman got paid €25 when she would normally get paid €340,” she said.

O’Reilly urged Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise Neil Richmond to clear up what has been happening at the company.

“The minister needs to get to the bottom of the difficulties that are causing this hit and miss payment. These workers have been treated appallingly and the minister needs to get some answers from the employer, confirmation that the wages are going to be paid and that their employment will be put onto a secure footing for the future,” she said.


Four of Iceland’s stores in Dublin have served strike action at the ongoing dispute. These are in Ballyfermot, Tallaght, Coolock and the branch in Northside Shopping Centre.

They are being represented by the Independent Workers Union, and organiser Jamie Murphy told The Journal that he was in no doubt that working conditions had “deteriorated” since the new owners took over.

“A lot of them have not been paid properly since. It kind of depends on the person on a case by case basis, what they’re paid and how often they’re paid.

“Some people are missing entire weeks of pay, others are paid but they’re missing sick pay or annual leave, or other entitlements that they would normally get.”

However, Murphy said an injunction has been sought by Iceland seeking to prevent further industrial action being taken by the union. He said it is taking legal advice on the issue.

When the IWU raised workers’ issues with Iceland, Murphy claimed they were “effectively met with radio silence”, so the union has started submitting claims to the Workplace Relations Commission.

There is absolutely a risk that all these workers jobs are in jeopardy here. We have put it to them in in written correspondence numerous times, to make written assurances that the workers jobs are secure but we have not gotten anything like that.

He said that complaints have lodged with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) alleging the lack of an operating air-condition system in some shops, which Murphy further alleged put people’s “health at risk”.

“This resulted in these workers being forced to work in temperatures sometimes exceeding 35 degrees Celsius,” he said. 

The HSA said it could not comment on on complaints received or any potential ongoing investigations of individual businesses.

Speaking earlier this month in the Dáil, Richmond told O’Reilly that he sympathised with workers who were going through an “unbelievably stressful period” and that he had made contact with Iceland but had “yet to have a full exchange” with the company.

When The Journal contacted the department, it asked if there had been any contact from the company to the minister since the issues over payments arose.

The department did not address the question, instead simply saying that Richmond is due to meet with a representative of Iceland in the coming weeks.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel