Thursday 22 December 2022

Union disappointed at company’s failure to address unified pay scale, more full-time jobs and access to longer working hours but will redouble campaign to achieve these goals

The Mandate Trade Union has today welcomed the awarding of an 8% pay increase to Dunne Stores’ workers which is an acceptance of the union’s pay claim which sought this pay rise in July.

However, Cathy McLoughlin, member of the union’s Dunnes’ National Committee expressed her and Dunnes’ staff’s disappointment that the company didn’t create a single unified pay scale, more full-time jobs and provide access to more working hours. The union plans to redouble its campaign to achieve these and other aspects of its claim.

“In July, Mandate lodged a claim on behalf of Dunnes Stores’ workers for a brand new pay scale which would provide a decent standard of living and reward staff for their loyalty and experience. Our proposed new pay scale would have provided those on the lowest point of the pay scale with a 7.7% hourly pay increase and those on the top with 7.9% increase. The company’s decision to award staff an 8% pay increase is a clear acceptance of this element of the claim and therefore very welcome as is their lifting of the limit on the staff discount card from €1,000 to €1,500.

“Dunnes’ workers are disappointed, however, that their proposal for one unified pay scale for all workers hasn’t been addressed. At the moment, there are multiple pay scales in the company where some workers are on higher wages than others for doing the exact same job. Mandate wants to harmonise the pay and benefits for all Dunnes’ workers but done in a way that brings the lowest earners up to the top. We intend to redouble our efforts so that the need for a unified pay scale is addressed by the company,” Cathy McLoughlin said.

In addition to rates of pay and the creation of one scale, Liz Tomlin Hynes – another member of Mandate’s Dunnes’ National Committee – explained that Dunnes Stores workers have proposed other matters in their pay claim which will form part of Mandate’s ongoing campaign for decent pay and conditions at the company.

“Central to our ongoing campaign is the issue of the allocation of hours and proper staffing ratios. Many Dunnes workers want to work longer hours because they can’t pay their bills. Unfortunately, the company won’t allow them, choosing to either understaff stores, which leads to huge pressure on staff or else they hire more workers on lower rates of pay.”

Liz Tomlin Hynes concluded by adding that the other items that will continue to be central to Dunnes’ workers’ campaign include:

  • An eight-week paid sick pay scheme which all staff should have access to this after their six-month probation period.
  • Fully paid maternity and paternity leave and more flexibility around the taking of parental leave to enable workers to take it as separate days or weeks.
  • Recognition of and respect for Dunnes’ workers’ right to individual and collective representation by their trade union.