• Dunnes Stores

    Dunnes Stores – Workers Rights

    Dunnes Stores is one of a number of employers in Ireland that do not recognize their employees rights to be represented by a union in relation to any discussions regarding their employment.

    The fact is that over 4000 employees of Dunnes are members of a union (Mandate) and yet the company can, legally, ignore their request to be represented

    This has resulted in the company being able to introduce low hours contracts, where employees do not know when they are rostered to work until very close to the time they are due in work. This leads to an intolerable situation, where employees are always on call from their workplace

    The low (zero) hours contracts are particularly difficult to deal with. An employee does not know how many hours they will be working from week to week, and therefore do not know what their income will be. This has a knock on effect in relation to all aspects of their lives, including housing (getting a mortgage would be almost impossible under these circumstances).

    According to a survey of staff 75% are on part time flexible contracts and 98% want more hours employment, indicating a significant cohort of underemployed people working for Dunnes.

    The Supreme court in the Ryanair case has clearly found that employers are entitled to operate a non unionised place of work, which is the situation that pertains today.

    However, the lisbon treaty, which contains the EU charter of fundemental rights contains the ‘Right to collective bargaining and action’.

    Given the precedence of European Law over National Law, it seems that a high court case, with the possibility of appealing to the Supreme Court and the European Courts could well be needed to allow the principle of collective bargaining to take place


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