Staff at retailer M&S set for Christmas strike in pension dispute
Marks and Spencer workers are to strike across Ireland in the run-up to Christmas, trade union Mandate has said.
Staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of a wave of festive walk-outs in a deepening row with bosses over the closure of a pension scheme.
Mandate, which says it represents the vast majority of the 2,300 employees in the retail chain's 17 shops across the Irish Republic, has given formal notification of strike action.
The first walk-out is planned for on Saturday December 7, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with two further days of action planned before Christmas.
Pickets will also be staged at the stores after 94pc of those balloted backed a protest.
Gerry Light, Mandate assistant general secretary, said it was working with companies who were in financial difficulties but would not allow management to exploit workers in pursuit of even higher profits.
"Mandate has traditionally had a good relationship with Marks & Spencer, however, in recent months the company has made many decisions which are baffling and shocking to the union and our members and if implemented would impact negatively upon them and their families," he said.
"Now they've implemented one of those changes without agreement. This is not how you conduct good industrial relations in 2013."