Lloyds Pharmacy workers forced to strike for third day

Thursday 28 June 2018

Three more strike days announced for July

Almost 250 workers in Ireland’s largest pharmacy chain, Lloyds Pharmacy, will participate in a third strike tomorrow (Friday, 29th June 2018) following their company’s continued refusal to accept a Labour Court recommendation.

The industrial action will affect almost 40 stores as the workers participate in a work stoppage between 10am and 1pm.

The Union also announced three full days of strikes should the company continue their refusal to engage with their workers. The three days include:

  • Friday, 6th July;
  • Thursday, 12th July; and
  • Friday the 20th.

Mandate say this third action is regrettable and preventable but only Lloyds Pharmacy management have the capacity to prevent the strike from taking place.

Gerry Light, Mandate Assistant General Secretary, said:

“We are once again urging Lloyds Pharmacy to show their workers the respect they deserve. Acknowledge their right to be represented by an independent trade union of their choice.”

He added, “Our members do not want to be out on strike, no worker does. But they are entitled to and are determined to win the same representational rights their fellow Mandate members in Boots Ireland have. After all, it is their workers who built the business in Ireland through their professionalism and care for their patients.”

Mr Light continued, “This strike isn’t good for anyone. Lloyds Pharmacy are losing business. The company’s customers are being inconvenienced and will have to source their medication elsewhere. Yet all the company need to do is agree to meet with Mandate Trade Union and all of this will be prevented.”

Mr Light concluded by thanking the public for their support:

“Since this dispute began, the public couldn’t have been more supportive. We have had other trade unions and civil society groups sending their support to our members and they truly appreciate it. Political parties of all hues have also supported our members and are aggrieved by the fact Lloyds Pharmacy is receiving revenue from one arm of the State through the HSE, yet refuses to accept a recommendation from another arm of the State, the Labour Court.”

Lloyds Pharmacy workers participated in two strikes on Thursday, 14th June for one hour and Friday, 22nd June for two hours.

The strike relate to a claim by Mandate Trade Union on behalf of its 240 members employed by LloydsPharmacy including:

  • A pay increase and incremental pay scales;
  • The introduction of a sick pay scheme;
  • Security of hours and the elimination of zero hour contracts; and
  • Improvements in annual leave entitlements and public holiday premiums.

The Labour Court issued a recommendation stating the company should engage with their workers through their union, but to date the company has refused to negotiate. This has left the workers with no alternative other than industrial action.

The company argues that it allows its workers representation through a management established and company funded ‘CRC’. Mandate says the CRC is a “creature of the company” used to avoid allowing their workers independent representation. The improvements in conditions of employment the company claims to have delivered in recent are wholly insufficient, according to Mandate Trade Union members employed in Lloyds Pharmacy.

Mandate has apologised for any inconvenience caused to the public but insist any blame for the action must be directed towards the company who have forced their workers into taking industrial action. The Union has also accused Lloyds Pharmacy of misleading the media in relation to the usage of zero hour contracts.

Lloyds Pharmacy is owned by one of the largest healthcare pharmaceutical companies in the world, McKesson Corporation. The company had revenues of $200 billion in 2017 – more than twice the Irish government’s total revenue.