| 13.4°C Dublin

Dunnes staff in limbo at shop's sudden closure

Dunnes workers in Gorey, Co Wexford are to meet with their union this evening to discuss the shock closure of the store today.

At least 100 workers fear for their jobs after they were suddenly told the shop plans to immediately close.

Management from the grocery giant, which has 116 stores in the Republic of Ireland and is headed by Frank Dunne and Margaret Heffernan, told staff at the store in Gorey of their plans for the "immediate closure" of the branch last night, according to trade union Mandate.


The organisation, which represents almost 6,000 Dunnes Stores workers, said that staff were informed of the news shortly after 6pm yesterday.

The union has also claimed management were not "forthcoming" with details of how this will affect the 100 staff members who work there and whether the store would reopen.

However, it is understood that staff who are rostered to work have been instructed to come in to work "behind closed doors".

One source said that signs were placed in the doors of the store, which opened in 2007, saying it was now closed.

John Douglas, the Mandate general secretary, described the move as an "insensitive and disgraceful way to treat their staff".

"At this moment in time, the workers have not been told whether their jobs are at risk. We simply don't know whether the store will open again in the future or whether there may be store transfers available," he said.

"Many of the workers don't even know whether they have to turn up to work. This is completely unacceptable," Mr Douglas added.

Workers who did turn up this morning were allowed onto the premises but it was unclear what roles they were engaged in behind the closed doors of the store.

"The lack of information is causing a lot of concern and workers have genuine fears," said Mandate's Dave Gibney.

It is understood there has been a dispute over access recently between Dunnes and the shopping centre in Gorey where the branch is located.

Workers at Dunnes Stores around the country have been embroiled in a long-running dispute with management over working hours and pay, job security and representation at the shops.

The majority of Dunnes Stores staff staged a one-day strike last month at the 109 outlets around the country.