Monday 17 June 2019

TK Maxx staff strike

TK Maxx workers on strike on Saturday.
TK Maxx workers on strike on Saturday.

Deborah Coleman

Mandate Trade Union members at TK Maxx in Arklow staged a one-day strike outside the Bridgewater Centre on Saturday.

While the store remained open, the Mandate members stuck to their plan to strike in relation to banded hour contracts, pay scales and advance notice of rosters.

The staff said they took the industrial action after their employer's refusal to implement a Labour Court recommendation made earlier this year.

'It's very disappointing that it's come to this. We don't want to strike. We'd much prefer to be at work, but we want that work to be with decent conditions of employment,' said staff member Cian Keogh.

'We don't understand why we cannot have the same representational rights as tens of thousands of other workers in the retail sector. We hope the public understand why we have to take this action and we hope they'll support us,' he said. According to Mandate Trade Union's Divisional Organiser for Wicklow, Michael Meegan, it is 'regrettable' that TK Maxx has 'ignored' the Labour Court recommendations.

'Once again we have a highly profitable and very successful multinational retailer refusing to engage with their workers through their representatives and ignoring the State's industrial relations processes. This is regrettable and very frustrating for our members who have very reasonable demands,' he said.

Mr Meegan said that TK Maxx workers are low paid and have insecure work.

'Many of the workers on strike today earn slightly over €11 per hour after several years of service. The company makes €125 million in pre-tax profits per year and can easily afford to not only pay their staff more, but they can afford to bring in pay scales and ensure workers have certainty over their earnings by implementing secure hour contracts.' Mandate has not ruled out further action if an agreement with TK Maxx is not reached.

Wicklow People