Thursday 27 April 2017

Thousands of Penneys workers to get 3.5pc wage rise

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

UP to 3,000 Penneys workers are set for a 3.5pc pay rise. The budget clothing chain's decision to honour the terms of the wage agreement that was brokered over a year ago shows some retailers are managing to escape the ravages of recession.

The union Mandate said the workers balloted by 94pc in favour of a proposal that will see the first instalment of the deal split into two payments -- the first backdated to January 1, with another one from June 1.

But members will lose out on months of the overdue pay rise as the increase will not be backdated to its actual due date last year.

The deal, negotiated by the social partners in September 2008, was worth 6pc over 21 months, following a three- month pay pause in the private sector, with an extra 0.5pc bonus for those earning less than €430.49 a week

It was quickly on shaky ground after major employers, including IBEC and the Government, either deferred or pulled out of it. According to recent estimates, around a fifth of private sector employers may have paid the increase.

Mandate secured payment of the increase for workers,who earn an average between €9 and €14 an hour, during talks with the fashion chain at the Labour Relations Commission.

Mandate Assistant General Secretary Linda Tanham said: "It is vital for this country, and indeed this economy that companies in a position to pay the terms of the negotiated national wage agreement do so in order to help get this country back on track by generating more consumer spending."

Irish Independent

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