Saturday 24 March 2018

M&S staff vote to avert strike action

The Marks & Spencer store on Henry Street, Dublin. Photo: Collins
The Marks & Spencer store on Henry Street, Dublin. Photo: Collins
Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

WORKERS at Marks & Spencer have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a Labour Court recommendation that averts a threatened strike at its Irish stores today.

Mandate trade union and SIPTU members voted by a margin of 97pc to accept the court's recommendation that should allow them access to financial information from the company to assist with negotiations on a management cost-cutting plan.

The workers had held a one-day strike that shut all 17 stores in the Republic of Ireland two weeks ago over a number of concerns on their pensions and future staffing arrangements.

However, further planned strike action was averted when they agreed to Labour Court talks last week, and the results of this ballot mean a threatened work stoppage today will also be prevented.

The recommendation workers voted to accept relates to the concern expressed by the unions that they were unable to deal with the company's cost-cutting plans due to lack of access to financial information.

The unions have now written to the company seeking immediate engagement due to the tight time-frames set by the Labour Court.

Marks & Spencer has closed the company's defined-benefit pension scheme and has also been seeking to cut premium payments, axe a Christmas bonus and reduce the number of section managers.

Irish Independent

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