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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 22 April, 2019
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Six stores closed as over 240 Lloyds Pharmacy workers to take part in a strike today

Workers who are members of the trade union Mandate will picket stores across the country.

Lloyds workers Amy Bannon, Tara Flanagan, Deirdre Walshe and Debbie Kelly outside the Nutgrove store last week.
Lloyds workers Amy Bannon, Tara Flanagan, Deirdre Walshe and Debbie Kelly outside the Nutgrove store last week.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

WORKERS FROM 36 Lloyds Pharmacy stores will go on a full day strike today in a dispute with the company over pay and conditions.

Workers who are members of the trade union Mandate will picket stores across the country, in the first full day of industrial action as the dispute continues.

Previously, workers have picketed stores for set periods of time, with full day action representing an escalation in the dispute.

Lloyds Pharmacy operates 88 stores in Ireland and employs about 800 workers, meaning just over a quarter of staff will be striking today.

Mandate states that over 240 workers will take part in the picket today. Further demonstrations are due to take to place next Thursday (12 July) and the following Friday (20 July).

In a letter to customers, the company said that six stores will remain closed today as a result of the strike.

These are:

  • Ballyfermot
  • Crumlin Village
  • Killester
  • Rathborne
  • Stoneybatter
  • Pearse Street, Mullingar

As well as these, a further eight stores will close early.

Lloyds said that they would text individual patients with urgent medical needs who they feel need to be advised of their store’s closure.

The dispute centres around employee pay and conditions, with Mandate and workers having for main claims, which are:

  • A pay increase and incremental pay scales
  • The introduction of a sick pay scheme
  • Security of hours and the elimination of zero hour contracts and
  • Improvements in annual leave entitlements and public holiday premiums

Commenting in a video to workers yesterday ahead of the industrial action, assistant general secretary of the union Gerry Light said all Mandate workers should turn out at the picket.

“Next week you have been promised by the company more improvements to your terms and conditions which is a clear indication that through the current industrial action you are winning,” he said.

So why would you change this winning formula now.

Lloyds response 

Aside from the letter to customers, Lloyds didn’t issue a statement on today’s strike action.

In the letter, the company apologised to customers for the closure and said it was “working to ensure that all disruption from this industrial action is minimised and patient services maintained”.

Previously, the pharmacy chain accused the union of misleading the media saying and said that it did not have zero-hour contracts.

Lloyds said progress had been made addressing the issues at the heart of the dispute at its employee negotiating body, the Colleague Representative Committee.

Light, from the union, insisted however that the CRC had no mandate to address worker concerns, describing it as “a sophisticated anti-union tactic imported from the United States in order to ensure workers do not have the right to independent representation”.

Previously Lloyds said that the “next phase of CRC engagement is underway”.

“We have indicated our commitment to speedily delivering further affordable improvements, including on pay scales,” the company said.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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