Mandate trade union has issued a statement to its members that indicates that industrial action against Dunnes Stores could commence as early as March.
A secret ballot of Mandate members employed in Dunnes is currently underway, and is expected to 'finish by the beginning of March', Mandate said.
'What happens after the ballot depends largely on how workers vote and how Dunnes management responds,' it added.
'If workers vote in favor of industrial action, the Union will convene a national dispute committee made up of our members in Dunnes all across Ireland'.
Last week, Dunnes issued a letter to its employees claiming that full time and flexible contracts it offers its staff 'are freely entered into', and that the retailer has both '(a) maintained existing employment without any redundancies, and (b) in fact contrary to market conditions been in a position to award pay increases'.
In the letter, the retailer also invoked its 'constitutional right' not to engage with a trade union.
Last week, Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Ged Nash described the developments at Dunnes as "concerning", adding that he was "hopeful" that the parties involved would respect the Labour Court's recommendations and proposals.
Dara Calleary, Fianna Fail Enterprise spokesperson added that "the fact that the company has written to every one of its employees advising them of adverse consequences if they pursue proper industrial relations avenues is a sad day for Irish business."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones