Retail workers to hold Decency at Work – Mayo event in Castlebar on Tuesday, April 4th 2017

Friday 24 March 2017, 01pm

Members of the Mandate Trade Union are hosting a ‘Decency at Work – Mayo’ event at 7:30pm in the TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo on Tuesday, 4th April 2017. All retail and bar workers in the county are invited to attend.
The launch of the Mayo Decency at Work campaign is the first of its kind in the country and the some of the issues to be discussed on the night include; low pay; insecure hours at work; pensions; job security and trade union representation.
Also being discussed on the night will be some of the key issues affecting workers outside the workplace including housing, healthcare, education and water charges.
Mandate Trade Union General Secretary John Douglas will attend the launch, as will David Gibney from the Right2Water and Home Sweet Home (Apollo House) campaigns.
Mr Douglas said this event will allow Mandate Trade Union to formulate plans for campaigns that retail workers want, and need.
“Ireland currently has the second highest prevalence of low pay in the entire OECD. We have the second highest level of involuntary part-time work in the EU15,” he said.
Mr Douglas added, “For an Irish retail or bar worker to achieve similar incomes as their counterparts across the EU, they would need an approximate 18 percent pay increase.”
He said, “We want to hear from workers in Mayo about how we can tackle the problem of low pay and insecure work and create a level of decency that clearly doesn’t exist at this moment in time.”
Ciaran Campbell, Mandate’s Divisional Organiser for Mayo said this event would be educational for workers in Mayo, but also for the Union.
“Our members and retail workers know exactly what the big issues are at local level. We want to hear what those issues are, and see if we can address them as a collective.”
He added, “Our Union has been at the forefront of the Right2Water campaign which has seen some of the largest demonstrations in Irish history. Initially, when the government were bringing in the charges, an average retail worker would have immediately been thrown into water poverty. Now, as a result of our campaigns, we have helped to save low paid workers from an annual bill in excess of €500. That’s why this event will not only discuss workplace issues, but other issues that effect workers in Mayo.”
Mr Campbell said low pay and bad government policies were having a dramatic effect on workers living standards.
“At the last count, there were 14,000 people in Mayo experiencing food poverty. Rental costs in Mayo have increased by 7 percent during the last quarter of 2016 compared to the previous year, and up 14 percent in recent years. All of these issues are squeezing workers and their families’ living standards because very few workers have won pay increases of any significant magnitude in recent years.”
Speakers at the event will include:
  • Mandate General Secretary John Douglas.
  • Mandate members from Mayo including Keith Leonard (Tesco) and Rowena Gillespie (Penneys).
  • Right2Water & Home Sweet Home spokesperson David Gibney.
  • Trademark Belfast’s Stevie Nolan.
All retail and bar workers in Mayo are invited to attend the event.
EVENT: ‘Decency at Work – Mayo’ launch
LOCATION: TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 4th April 2017 at 7:30pm
Further information and updates will be available at the Facebook event page.

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