Minister Nash gives Dunnes workers collective bargaining commitment

Minister Ged Nash

Aftermath of last Thursday's industrial action sees Minister pledge to introduce collective bargaining legislation by the mid-2015



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7 April 2015

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Following nationwide industrial action by 6,000 Dunnes Stores workers last Thursday, the Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash has written to Mandate Trade Union stating he intends to enact collective bargaining legislation by mid-2015.

Prior to the strike, Mandate had written to the Minister seeking an announcement on the likely date for the enactment of meaningful legislation which could have prevented the Dunnes Stores strike.

The Minister has since responded stating the new legislation will be implemented within months and would “provide a strong and effective remedy where employers refuse to negotiate by way of collective bargaining”.

Mandate said it welcomed the timely commitment which “will give real hope to Dunnes Stores workers and hundreds of thousands of other workers in similar circumstances across the country”.

Minister Nash said the Attorney General’s Office is drafting the bill which will be published in this parliamentary session and his objective is to see it enacted in mid-2015.

Meanwhile around 4,000 Dunnes workers, including some Mandate members, did not take part in the strike.

The Irish Independent reports spokesperson for the union David Gibney said a number of members had resigned their membership ahead of the strike, but dismissed reports of members not being allowed to leave until after Thursday’s strike action.

He admitted that Mandate had written to some members asking them to “reconsider their position” but said many had left due to “intimidation”.

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada said she has warned senior management at Dunnes Stores against victimising workers who took part in strike action.

Ní Riada said: “There are reports of staff being threatened with disciplinary action, with having their hours reduced to the bare minimum, and with being allocated hours designed to be as disruptive as possible to their family needs. Dunnes Stores recently warned staff that today’s strike could result in redundancies.”

She said she commended the staff who took part in the industrial action and added: “I will be staying in close contact with workers and their representatives over the coming weeks and months. I am warning Dunnes Management against any listing, singling out, disciplining or unfair treatment of workers as a result of their participation in industrial action.”



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