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Dunnes Stores strike can be averted - Seán Crowe TD

19 December, 2014 - by Seán Crowe TD


Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has said that a possible Dunnes Stores strike can be averted by senior management but they need to move from their backward early 1900s labour relations approach and into a more enlightened 21st century mode.

The strike threat comes on the back of a survey carried out by the Mandate Trade Union among Dunnes Stores workers and suggests that three quarters of those employed are trapped on part-time flexible contracts.

Crowe said that the Dunnes Stores controversy also highlighted the need for the introduction of robust anti-victimisation legislation and collective bargaining rights in line with International Labour Organisation conventions.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

"A pending Dunnes Stores Strike due early next year can be averted by senior management but they need to move from their backward early 1900s labour relations  approach and into a more enlightened 21st Century mode.

"The survey carried out by the Mandate Trade Union among their Dunnes Stores members suggests that three quarters of those employed are trapped on part-time flexible contracts.  A huge amount, eighty five per cent, felt that insecurity around their hours and believe that hourly rostering is being used as control mechanism over workers and that their hours are being distributed unfairly.

There is understandably widespread dissatisfaction with this policy that has them locked into part time hours, trapped in poverty and with no security of hours.

"An added difficulty faced by workers is the abject failure of Dunnes Stores to engage in any meaningful discussions with their workers' unions or any Irish Labour Relations apparatus.

"According to Eurostat, over one fifth of the Irish workforce is now in low-pay employment, there is a widening of the gap in terms of income distribution and there is an increase in the number of adults and children living in poverty.

"One hundred and one years after the 1913 Lockout, Ireland has the dubious distinction of being only one of three countries in the EU27 where the right to collective bargaining is not enshrined in law.

"Collective bargaining rights need to be introduced without delays that are in keeping with more progressive International Labour Organisation conventions.

"I believe the Dunnes Stores controversy highlights the need for new legislation to copper fasten the right to trade union recognition treating collective bargaining as a basic right.

"The Dunnes Stores strike can be averted but senior management need to move and join the rest of us in the 21st Century."

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