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Sunday 20 April 2014

M&S strike suspended pending talks

Marks & Spencer workers have suspended a second strike in a pensions row pending talks
Marks & Spencer workers have suspended a second strike in a pensions row pending talks

Marks & Spencer workers have called off tomorrow's second day of strike action because talks on the pensions dispute are planned.

Trade union Mandate said the stoppage is being deferred after intervention from industrial relations troubleshooters at the Labour Court.

Mandate, which represents 2,300 workers at the retail giant, said last-minute negotiations at the Labour Relations Commission failed to secure a resolution today.

An emergency Labour Court hearing has been planned for Friday.

Mandate said it was taking part in the hearing in an effort to resolve all of the issues and avoid a third planned day of action on Friday December 20.

Stores across the Republic of Ireland were closed to Christmas shoppers last Saturday in the first day of action over a pensions dispute and other cost-cutting proposals.

Staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of a wave of festive walk-outs last month in the deepening row with bosses.

As well as changes to a pension scheme, the unions oppose a number of other measures proposed by management, including a reduction in the Sunday and public holiday premium paid to staff, the scrapping of the Christmas bonus, and a reduction in the number of section managers.

Marks & Spencer, which disputes many of the claims made by the unions involved, accused unions of misleading employees and customers to gain support for the strike.

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