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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Eason workers get their festive bonuses -- 210 days after Christmas

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

CHRISTMAS has come late for up to 700 Eason staff who will finally get their belated festive bonus next week.

The well-known bookselling chain has agreed to pay the lump sum -- worth a week's pay, or up to €500 per worker -- that it deferred since last year.

It will pay half the Christmas bonus next week, in cash, or vouchers that can be redeemed in store, and the remainder in April next year.

The bookseller argued that it could not afford the payment, which will cost it roughly €400,000, and staff accepted that the payment be suspended.

But they only accepted this on the basis that management follow a Labour Court recommendation and review whether it could afford the payment this year.

Following talks between management, SIPTU and Mandate over the last few months, it agreed to pay the bonus.

"It's better late than never," said SIPTU Dublin Services Branch Organiser Noel Maguire. "We finally got where we needed to get.

"The bonus is still very much a part of the staff's terms and conditions, and the company tried to argue that it was discretionary.

"Last year was a difficult year, but there was light at the end of the tunnel and things are picking up.

"It is an asset-rich company and nowhere near Arnotts's position. This is about putting the books right."

He said the company had indicated it will also pay this year's bonus during the negotiation.

However, he said that the unions were not prepared to swap it for any new cost-cutting measures.

Irish Independent

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