Wednesday 17 January 2018

Health firm staff get 6pc pay rise, but Penneys get nothing

Anne-Marie Walsh and Gordon Deegan

ALMOST 1,000 workers are celebrating an expected 6pc pay rise at eye health company Bausch and Lomb, but staff at cut-price clothes retailer Penneys have been refused an increase.

Penneys is thriving, but talks on a 3pc pay rise for 3,000 staff have collapsed. The Mandate union said it has referred the dispute to the Labour Court after discussions with the British-owned discount fashion retailer broke down.

In a letter to members, the union said management "at no stage" would commit to giving the increase.

"Despite Penneys achieving consistently huge profits during the years of recession, the disappointing response by management was to produce a list of counter-demands," said the union's negotiation team.

They said the retailer tabled plans to introduce a lower pay scale and a cut in Sunday premium payments for new recruits.

The last meeting between management and the retailer took place at the Labour Relations Commission on March 1.

Mandate assistant general secretary Gerry Light said staff were "bitterly disappointed" over the pay issue, as the company was making huge profits.

Revenue at the Primark chain, which operates as Penneys in Ireland, climbed 13pc to €3.54bn in the year to the end of September 2011.

Meanwhile, the Labour Court has recommended that Bausch and Lomb award its 900 SIPTU workers a phased 6pc increase.

The US multinational employs 1,100 at its Waterford base, and the Labour Court has recommended a 6pc rise through three separate pay increases, on condition of co-operation from the workforce on normal ongoing change at the plant.

Irish Independent

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