MORE than 14,000 Dunnes Stores workers will get their first pay rise in six years next month. The supermarket chain has told staff they will get a 3pc increase – worth over €600 a year – according to their union Mandate.
The company, which has traditionally refused to negotiate with trade unions, did not turn up for a Labour Court hearing after staff lodged the pay claim yesterday.
Nevertheless, Mandate said the company had told staff they would get the wage rise from the second week of February.
The union filed the pay claim on behalf of its 4,000 members at the chain nine months ago. However, it said the wage increase would apply to all 14,000 staff.
It is worth over €600 to full-time staff, who earn in the region of €23,000 to €24,000 a year.
The union referred the claim to the Labour Court after the company failed to attend talks.
Its assistant general secretary, Gerry Light, said staff had not had a rise since December 2007.
"Many retail workers have foregone pay increases over the last few years – some indeed have taken cuts and have given considerable flexibility to their employers," he said.
" Indeed, even in companies where pay rates haven't been cut many workers' incomes have declined because of significant reductions to their working hours and they have also been badly affected by rising prices, tax rises and the cuts to public services and welfare payments like child benefit."
However, he said most retail companies remained highly profitable and estimated that Dunnes Stores was generating sales in the region of €3.8bn a year and significant profits.
Dunnes Stores refused to comment.
More than 3,000 Marks & Spencer and 13,000 Tesco workers got wage increases worth up to €700 a year in 2012.
Debenhams recently agreed to a 2pc pay increase from September 1 after its 1,400 staff accepted plans to extend a pay freeze, which has been in place for two years.