Dunnes Stores workers demand improvement in conditions

Staff threaten industrial action over working conditions at major retailer

About a dozen workers from Dunnes Stores and twice that number of the Mandate union officials have hand-delivered a Christmas card to the retailer's headquarters in Dublin with a call for improved worker rights and a threat of industrial action.

More than 1,300 employees signed the card which "strongly" condemned Dunnes Stores for rejecting "all reasonable attempts by (Mandate) and the Labour Court to address our collective issues and concerns".

Amongst the main concerns expressed by the unions were “security of hours and earning, pay, job security and union representation”.

The ‘Christmas Card’ went on to say that if Dunnes Stores continued to refuse to talk to the union or adhere to Labour Court recommendations then industrial action could follow.

Mandate represents about 4,000 of the company’s 10,000 employees and is looking for improved contracts for employees.

It said a survey of over 1,300 Dunnes Stores employees it carried out found that over three quarters were on part-time flexible employment contracts while 98 per cent wanted more stable working hours.

Many employees of the retail giant are on zero-hour contracts which force them to be always available for work without a guarantee of a fixed number of hours.

When contacted by The Irish Times, the store refused to comment.