Friday 28 October 2016

Dunnes staff hit with 'despicable' work changes for striking, claim union

A letter issued by Dunnes Stores management earlier this year said they will “not enter into direct discussions” with a trade union
A letter issued by Dunnes Stores management earlier this year said they will “not enter into direct discussions” with a trade union

Dunnes workers who went on a one-day strike last week have been targeted for retribution by the company, their union has claimed.

Mandate officials say workers around the country were hit with sudden changes in conditions shortly after the industrial action.

The actions have been branded "deplorable and despicable" by Mandate assistant general secretary Gerry Light.


The strike took place in protest at zero-hour and temporary contracts for some of the supermarket giant's workers.

Now the union says it has received reports from members all over the country who have experienced sudden changes in work patterns.

"All the workers want is for Dunnes to meaningfully engage with them through their union, with the objective of creating decent working conditions," said Mr Light.

The union explained some of the alleged actions by Dunnes.

It said workers have been dismissed - with one case taking place less than 24 hours after the strike.

Mandate claim that the worker in question was informed "the business isn't there" - despite workers with less service and who hadn't been on strike remaining in employment.

The union said there are also cases where there have been cuts to hours, moves to different departments and changes to regular shift patterns.

"Now their employer is blatantly targeting people with the hope of intimidating their own loyal staff and turning them away from any future trade union activities," Mr Light added.

"This behaviour by management in Dunnes Stores is deplorable and despicable and must be condemned by everybody," he said.

Mr Light said the company's actions has only strengthened the resolve of Dunnes workers to achieve their objectives.

"The actions of management in the past week clearly illustrate the disproportionate level of control and power that managers have over their workers and their incomes," he said.


"We implore senior managers in Dunnes Stores to stop this campaign of retribution and intimidation and do the sensible and reasonable thing for both the business and for their loyal workers," he added.

Dunnes Stores head office was approached for comment on the allegations by Mandate against the company, but the Herald was told that media queries are not handled by phone.

An email address was supplied by Dunnes, but a request for comment had not been answered by late last night.


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