Almost 20 members of Mandate Trade Union have issued notice of a full-day stoppage on Thursday, December 6 on longstanding wholesaler Joseph Murphy Ltd, Ballina, Co. Mayo.
Mandate lodged a claim for a pay increase on behalf of members along with a bid to protect the terms of an employee VHI Scheme, but the company has not ceded to the claim.
The members in the store took a 10% pay cut during the financial crisis to ensure the company’s survival, which was clawed back in recent years by the Union, but now the workers believe their loyalty and hard work deserves a sufficient reward.
Mandate insists that its members are intent on winning a “meaningful” pay claim that addresses pay lost over those years as well as recognising the contribution made by employees to maintaining the business.
Also, the company’s proposal to ‘park’ staff entitled entry on to a company VHI Scheme and/or a buy-out of the same scheme met with considerable resistance from members at the wholesaler.
North West Divisional Organiser Ciaran Campbell said:
“The members feel so strongly on these points that at the last number of General Meetings I had with them, they were very exercised that the company was not putting a real and tangible offer on the table that they could accept.
“I have to add that they are very resolved on ensuring that the company pays them some respect on both these points – they want a meaningful pay rise and they want those staff that are so entitled to be immediately entered on to the staff VHI Scheme which appears to be a contractual right after 15 years service.”
He pointed out that more than 80% of Mandate members at the wholesaler had voted on all offers and ultimately the ballot of industrial action.
Mr Campbell added: “I hasten to add the results were very emphatic in terms of rejecting the company’s offers, as well as engaging in strike action on December 6 and, if necessary, as and when thereafter. This is a well-organised membership and they are very resolute in seeing this dispute through to their satisfaction.”