Workers Strike in Connolly Shoe Stores in Dun Laoghaire

Saturday 19 September 2009

Eight workers in two Connolly Shoes shops in Dun Laoghaire are holding an official strike today between 9:30am and 6pm. The workers claim that their employer won’t recognise their union and is trying to force wage cuts and cuts in hours without agreement with them or their union.

The workers in Connolly Shoes are all members in Mandate Trade Union. The union claims that some of the workers involved in the dispute are only being paid for three days worked despite working five as per their contract.
Mandate Divisional Organiser, Joe Donnelly said, “The workers in Connolly Shoes are experiencing a very stressful and difficult time at the moment. Their employer is behaving in a very unreasonable manner and forcing work practice changes without agreement.
“Not only is management in Connolly Shoes threatening to cut wages by 10% despite the fact they haven’t had a wage increase in three years, but they have already implemented pay cuts by only paying some workers for three days when they are working five.”
Mandate also says that the company has illegally refused to pay workers who are sick despite being obliged to do so under a Registered Employment Agreement.
Mr Donnelly said, “We are also very concerned by reports from our members that the company has installed CCTV cameras and is monitoring them during their work. Our members have stated that they feel intimidated and are receiving phone calls from management asking what certain customers want. As a result, the company have used these security cameras as a basis for issuing letters of warning and threatening disciplinary action.
“What makes matters worse is that the eight workers involved have served the company loyally for nearly 200 years between them. The five longest serving members have accumulated 170 years of service and during all this time there has never been an industrial action whatsoever. It’s disappointing that the owners now feel that being confrontational with the staff members will help to resolve any issues.