Dunnes Stores staff to get 10% Covid-19 payment, says union

Petition calling for the premium payment signed by over 3,000 workers, says Mandate

Trade union Mandate said Dunnes Stores had agreed to increase the staff discount card to 20%. File photograph: The Irish Times

Trade union Mandate said Dunnes Stores had agreed to increase the staff discount card to 20%. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

Staff at Dunnes Stores are to receive a 10 per cent Covid-19 premium payment backdated to March 9th, according to trade union Mandate.

The union said on Monday that the move brought Dunnes into line with other retailers including Aldi and Tesco, who were the first retailer to agree to a premium payment nearly 10 days ago.

Mandate said that it had put pressure on Dunnes to introduce such a scheme. It said a petition calling for the premium payment had been signed by more than 3,000 workers.

Mandate said that Dunnes Stores had agreed to increase the staff discount card to 20 per cent. The union said it also appeared that the company had agreed to a Covid-19 sick pay scheme.

Mandate general secretary John Douglas welcomed the move and said it was “the minimum profitable retailers should do considering the sacrifices being made by retail workers during this pandemic. There are thousands of retail workers all across the country who are putting their own health at risk during this public health crisis. The very least they should expect is a 10 per cent premium on top of their current pay rates.

“Dunnes workers got themselves organised and established a petition through Mandate trade union with three key demands: a fair premium for the hazards they’re enduring; an increase in their staff discount scheme; and a sick pay scheme that covers them if they contract the coronavirus and are required to isolate. They’ve been successful on all three fronts.

“That lesson should be learned by all other retail workers.”

Mr Douglas said retail workers “deserved a premium for the hard work they’re putting in and continue to put in throughout this Covid-19 pandemic, and the best way this can be achieved is by standing together in their union.”

Dunnes Stores worker from Ballina, Co Mayo, Patrick Killeen said: “Many of us are scared. While the Government has told everyone to stay at home, it’s not possible for us. We have to make sure there’s food on the shelves, and we’re not taking this lightly.

“This premium payment we’ve won will help us, but the most important thing for all of us in retail is that our employer ensures our health and safety is paramount.

“If you work in retail and you’re working through this pandemic. I can’t emphasise how important it is to be a member of your union and ensure that we’re all compensated fairly and that our health and safety is protected.”

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