Friday 24 November 2017

Thousands to march in support of Dunnes workers

Employment Minister Ged Nash has reaffirmed his support for Dunnes Stores workers.
Employment Minister Ged Nash has reaffirmed his support for Dunnes Stores workers.

Emma Jane Hade and Ryan Nugent

Thousands of Dunnes Stores workers from all over the country will march on the retailer's headquarters in the capital today, as part of a long-running dispute with the company.

It is expected that up to 5,000 people will participate in the march, which stems from a dispute between staff and management at the retailing giant over pay, job security and representation rights.

Writing in today's Irish Independent, Employment Minister Ged Nash has reaffirmed his support for the Dunnes Stores workers.

Discussing collective bargaining legislation which is due to be brought before the Dáil next week, Mr Nash says that he hopes this will be used by the workers "to advance their claims, should the company continue to refuse to engage with them".

Many of the Dunnes Stores workers and their supporters are being offered a free bus service to Dublin in a bid to ramp up support for the demonstration.

The workers will be joined by their families and supporters for the protest, which is set to begin at Merrion Square at 1pm. They will then march together towards the Dunnes Stores head office on Georges Street in Dublin city centre.

This latest move comes after many of the company's 10,000 workers took to the picket lines outside almost all of its 114 Irish stores on Holy Thursday.

Their decision to strike came after trade union Mandate balloted its members on industrial action earlier this year, with 67pc voting in favour of it.

Mandate, which represents 6,000 Dunnes Stores workers, is orchestrating today's event.

"We're hoping to show Dunnes that the public are very much on the side of the workers. We've had huge support from the private sector," David Gibney from Mandate said.

Dunnes Stores workers were recently informed that had been granted a 3pc pay rise, which they "cautiously welcomed".

Management at the company have not publicly responded to any of the claims by workers. But in a letter issued earlier this year, management said they would "not enter into direct discussions" with a trade union.

Meanwhile, Siptu's National Executive Council has decided to recommend that its members accept the proposals of the Lansdowne Road pay agreement after a meeting yesterday.

Irish Independent

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