Wednesday 23 January 2019

TK Maxx 'bought staff goldfish in bid to stop union action over pay'

Mandate lodged a Labour Court claim against TK Maxx. AP Photo
Mandate lodged a Labour Court claim against TK Maxx. AP Photo

Anne-Marie Walsh

TK Maxx has been accused of offering staff two goldfish as a peace offering after they floated the notion of pay hikes.

Mandate official Michael Meegan said workers at the chain's Arklow branch did not take the bait when their canteen was given a marine-themed makeover.

He said staff at the store planned to go on strike this Saturday for better pay, hours and rostering arrangements. And he warned industrial action may be ramped up.

Fish tanks were installed after the union lodged a claim for better terms and conditions with the Labour Court, he said.

He claimed some staff were on contracts that guaranteed just four hours or eight hours a week, and a one-point pay scale of roughly €11 an hour.

He said other retailers usually had pay scales with at least three increments.

Mr Meegan said the company had reluctantly given a small pay increase, began issuing two-week rosters and gave some workers 20-hour contracts. But he claimed it rowed back on some of these benefits.

"Remarkably, the company even bought two goldfish for the Arklow store as a peace offering or inducement not to partake in trade union activities," he said.

When asked to respond to the claims, a TK Maxx spokesperson said there would be no comment at this time.

Irish Independent

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