Fianna Fáil Jobs spokesperson Dara Calleary TD has told the Dáil that Dunnes Stores "does not listen to what happens in this House and it could not care less.”
In a debate to discuss the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill, Calleary and several fellow TDs rounded on Dunnes, with the Mayo TD saying it is “quite extraordinary that companies in that sector which are headquartered outside the country are leading the way in terms of protection for their workers and involving them in their enterprises, yet the company that is headquartered in this jurisdiction seems determined not to do anything and to move as far away as possible from such a partnership arrangement.”
Minister of State Ged Nash, who led the debate, said that he was “disappointed” in the retailer’s unwillingness to attend Labour Court hearings, and added that he was “calling again” on Dunnes to “engage in a meaningful fashion” with Mandate trade union.
“If there is no willingness to do so now, it may well be that passage of this legislation will sufficiently alter the circumstances to persuade the company of the merits of doing so in the very near future,” he said.
In addition, Wexford Fianna Fáil TD John Browne added that local politicians close to Dunnes' Gorey outlet attempted to contact the retailer last month seeking clarification over the store's temporary closure.
“The most galling of all was that many politicians in Wexford made contact with senior management in Dunnes Stores in Dublin by phone and e-mail and yet we were all ignored,” he said.
“It is the management's right to ignore politicians but at the same time, we were representing people and had been contacted by the workers. We did not even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement of our e-mails and phone calls asking when and whether the store would re-open.”
Also adding to the debate, United Left Alliance TD Claire Daly said that a “brutal regime of intimidation is being directed daily at workers who remained [at Dunnes] on the basis that they engaged in industrial action,” while fellow independent Joan Collins said that the recent ”Dunnes Stores strike demonstrated disgraceful examples of the victimisation of workers through demotions, reductions in hours and in some cases sackings.”
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones