Dispute in Connolly Shoes in Dun Laoghaire Escalates as Workers Strike for Two More Days

Friday 25 September 2009

LRC offers to intervene in dispute
Workers in two Connolly Shoe shops in Dun Laoghaire are holding a further two days of strikes at the premises today and tomorrow (Friday 25th and Saturday 26 September). The strikes will take place between 9:30am and 6pm on both days. Mandate Trade Union has stated that the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) has offered to intervene in the dispute but Connolly’s management has so far not responded to the offer.
All of the workers in Connolly Shoes are members in Mandate Trade Union. Last Saturday the nine workers involved held an official day of industrial action as a result of the company:
· Cutting hours;
· Threatening to reduce wages by 10%;
· Illegally refusing to pay workers who are sick;
· Paying some workers for three days work despite them working five as stated in their contracts;
· Changing workers terms and conditions of employment without agreement;
· Refusing to recognise Mandate Trade Union.
Since last weeks strike, the workers have received correspondence from their manager stating that the company will be reducing the hours of three more staff members. The employer has also stopped workers from parking their cars in the company car park which means an increase in costs for them.
Mandate Divisional Organiser, Joe Donnelly said, “The LRC has offered to intervene and has invited both the company and ourselves into conciliation talks. We have already agreed to the intervention but there has been no response from Connolly’s that we know of yet. We hope that Connolly’s management will behave in a responsible manner and engage in these talks with Mandate for the good of the company and the staff members involved.
Mr Donnelly went on to say, “It is simply unfair to threaten to cut workers wages by 10% despite the fact they haven’t had a wage increase in three years. The company has already implemented pay cuts by reducing the hours of the workers unilaterally. We will not stand for this type of treatment towards loyal and diligent workers who have served the company through good and bad times.

“The five longest serving members have accumulated 170 years of service and during all this time there has never been an industrial dispute. It’s disappointing that the owners now feel that an aggressive and confrontational approach with the staff members will help to resolve any issues,” concluded Mr Donnelly.