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Mandate union secures €20m in pay increases for 40,000 members

By winning pay increases, Mandate says members have more money to spend in the local economy.

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OVER THE PAST 24 months, the Mandate trade union says they have managed to secure more than €20 million in pay increases for 40,000 of their union members.

Addressing 300 delegates at the unions biennial delegate conference in Killarney, General Secretary John Douglas urged more workers to join unions so they can work on their behalf to get pay rises from their employers.


Mandate, who represents 45,000 retail and bar workers in Ireland, have won pay increases in some of the biggest retailers in Ireland. Here is a breakdown of what percentage of pay increase they have secured in each company:

  • Argos – 3%
  • Boots – 4%
  • Brown Thomas – 2%
  • Debenhams – 2%
  • Dunnes Stores – 3%
  • Marks & Spencer – 2.5%
  • Penneys – 3%
  • Superquinn (now Supervalu) – 2%
  • Tesco – 4%

Mandate members in the retail sector have been very successful in achieving higher rates of pay and better security of hours since our last conference two years ago,” said Douglas.

Tax cuts

Yesterday, speaking on RTÉ radio, Douglas said that pay increases for workers should now be introduced, stating that tax cuts would not benefit Mandate members as most don’t earn enough to pay tax.

Douglas said pay increases make sense as most of all their members’ disposable income is generated back in to the local economy, in the local shops, restaurants, bars and other local businesses.

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“By winning these pay increases, Mandate members have put an extra €20m spending power into the local economy, which in turn will protect existing jobs and hopefully create more decent jobs in every community across Ireland,” he said.

Douglas added:

Winning pay increases in profitable enterprises will reduce poverty levels. It will increase revenue for government through extra income tax, USC, PRSI and VAT receipts, meaning we can invest in better public services.

It will also mean we have more ability to pay off the odious banking debt that was thrust on Irish workers illegitimately, meaning future generations won’t have to pay as much for the banking crisis created by Ireland’s elites.

He stated that Irish workers are underpaid by comparison with our European neighbours. “We’re also more productive and Irish company profits are rising at a faster rate than the EU average,” he added.

Douglas concluded by saying that Mandate is determined to reduce poverty levels in Irish society by putting “more spending power into our members’ pockets and we’re determined to ensure that decent work becomes the norm for the Irish workforce. We make no apologies for achieving these goals by collectively bargaining and winning pay increases for our members”.

Read: Union hits out at Dunnes over workers’ contracts lower than 15 hours per week>

Read: Mandate union says water charges will result in job losses for the real economy>

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