SHAWS AND MANDATE AGREE TO AVERT STRIKE AT LAST MINUTE
Thursday 14 May 2009
The Mandate trade union announced today that workers in Shaws department stores throughout the country who were due to commence three days strike action from today are now withdrawing the threat of the strike action. The strike was due to take place as a result of the company unilaterally introducing changes to work practices and attempting to erode the terms and conditions of their employees.
Shaws management have now agreed to attend the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) with Mandate with no preconditions attached. Mandate claim this is what they requested 7 weeks ago and had that been acknowledged at that point, it would have saved staff members a lot of anguish and turmoil.
Gerry Light, Assistant General Secretary of Mandate Trade Union said, “While I welcome the fact that Shaws have agreed to concede the unions request to attend third party conciliation talks in an attempt to resolve this dispute, it worries me why they waited till the last minute to take this action. Direct negotiations could have commenced weeks ago had the company chosen that path.
“It is hoped that the LRC process will result in a satisfactory outcome which will allow for a more constructive industrial relations environment within the company. I firmly believe that such a reality is in the best interest for both the staff members and the company alike.
Shaws Department Stores have sixteen outlets throughout the country employing over 600 staff members.
When balloted for industrial action by Mandate, members voted by an overwhelming majority of 87% in favour of striking. Mr Light claimed at the time that this showed the unity of the workforce on the issue and a determination not to have their established terms and condition of employment easily set aside without necessary and just cause.