Tuesday 24 February 2009

Mandate trade union say this deal is what is expected from profitable companies even in difficult trading circumstances.

Mandate trade union announced today, (Tuesday, 24 February 2009) that they have reached an agreement with Marks and Spencer for a new pay deal which is above and beyond the terms of the National Wage Agreement.
Despite a difficult retail environment and calls from employers groups for an extended pay pause, Marks and Spencer have agreed to pay staff members wage increases of up to 6.7% above current rates of pay.
Mandate Assistant General Secretary, Gerry Light said, “This deal is significant both in terms of Marks and Spencer’s’ recognition of the contribution from its staff members and also in terms of the local partnership process which can work successfully, even in difficult economic times, between employers and trade unions.
The deal will see the implementation of the first phase (3.5%) of Towards 2016 paid to all staff from 1 January 2009 which means Marks and Spencer staff will not see a three month pay freeze as was negotiated in the National Wage Agreement and will instead see their pay increased ahead of schedule.
According to Mr Light Mandate has been very concerned that retail employers would try to maintain unrealistic profits which were experienced during the boom years and this would be to the detriment of workers pay and even their jobs.
“We won’t tolerate companies which are still highly profitable making staff redundant or reducing hours in the quest for ridiculous profit margins. Marks and Spencer’s has given us hope that other retailers can behave in a rational manner despite the economic slowdown and deal with Mandate as a reasonable and responsible trade union,” said Mr Light.
Marks and Spencer currently operate a pay scale which is largely determined by productivity. The new pay scale will eliminate the uncertainty of earnings for workers and also enable the company to establish their employment costs in a more effective manner.
Mr Light said, “The new pay scale will help workers in Marks and Spencer to establish a more regular income with more certainty of their take home pay. This is especially important to them in the current erratic retail environment.
In the new agreement the pay scale element for new employees is as follows:
Starter Rate
€10.00 ph
Experienced 1 yr service
€11.20 ph
Qualified 3 yrs service
€12.50 ph