A high street employer has been accused of acting like Scrooge after cancelling its workers’ Christmas bonus.
Lloyds Pharmacy workers are angry they will not get their annual ‘thank you’ payment worth in the region of €150 to €400 each.
Workers said the company’s decision to organise an online event hosted by former Big Brother star Brian Dowling in place of a Christmas party had not softened the blow.
The virtual Christmas social takes place tonight. Staff have been invited to take part in events including festive TikTok videos and a Christmas jumper competition.
Highlights include Christmas movie charades and bingo and “under the tree” surprises include annual leave and New Year staycations.
Staff who are members of Mandate have started a petition to restore the bonus.
“It’s been eight months since Leo Varadkar made his Covid lockdown announcement to the country,” it says. “Lloyds staff kept the pharmacies open. Lloyds staff made sure that elderly and more vulnerable customers were looked after… Lloyds staff got Covid. Lloyds staff deserve a Christmas bonus,” it said.
One worker, who did not want to be named, said: “We feel we should be given a bonus this year more than ever.”
A Lloyds spokesperson said the ’thank you’ bonus was withdrawn but the decision was part of a new bonus structure agreed with a colleague representative committee.
He said the company was providing a new monthly bonus as a “more transparent and equitable way of rewarding employees”.
Mandate lead organiser Bill Abom said the Christmas bonus was not part of talks arranged to restructure a separate bonus.
“To be encouraged now by the company to engage in TikTok fun and games with Brian Dowling instead of being paid their hard earned Xmas bonus is frankly an insult to the tireless and significant sacrifices made by these essential frontline workers,” said national officer Brian Forbes.
“Lloyds Pharmacy are proving themselves the cold-hearted misers and the big bad Scrooge of the Irish pharmacy sector.”