Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Dara Calleary TD says the Government and the Minister of State for Jobs Ged Nash should immediately fast track planned collective bargaining legislation and is asking the Workplace Relations Commission to investigate alleged changes in the work conditions of Dunnes Stores workers who participated in a strike last week.
Deputy Calleary commented, “I am deeply saddened to hear of reports that Dunnes Stores workers affiliated to the Mandate trade union have had working conditions changed since taking to the picket line last Thursday. Members claim they have had their hours reduced, established shift patterns changed, while some employees say they have been reallocated from long-held positions to other duties like shop-floor or to tills.
“The Workplace Relations Commission, via NERA, should investigate this as a matter of urgency and ensure maximum protection is given to the affected workers under existing legislation.
“The company’s refusal to respect the existing Labour Court recommendation remains the core issue here. The Labour Court is a forum which has a strong record in successfully resolving industrial relations disputes, including previous ones at Dunnes, and should be respected in this instance.
“This is a very serious situation and clearly highlights the increasing insecurity that workers on short hour contracts are subjected to. Many Dunnes workers have found they are unable to build a life for themselves and their families as they’ve no guarantees on hours and pay, and no way of planning for the future. They have tried repeatedly over the last two years to change from low and zero-hour contracts but to no avail. They are at the whim of often faceless managers – indeed the alleged behaviour of senior Dunnes Management in the past week underlines the genuine fears of the workers there.
“Minster Ged Nash must urgently publish collective bargaining and anti-victimisation legislation, which was promised in the Programme for Government four years ago.
Why is the Government dragging its feet on this and leaving workers exposed to the whims of management?
“I’m calling on the Government to move legislation on this as matter of priority to alleviate the victimisation of workers”.