Mandate Trade Union has said that Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash has agreed to enact collective bargaining legislation by mid-2015, in the wake of last week's strike by Dunnes workers.
The union made the announcement following widespread industrial action at Dunnes Stores outlets across the country last Thursday (2 April). It said that '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'.
According to Mandate, Minister Nash intends to implement the new legislation 'within months, adding that it will 'provide a strong and effective remedy where employers refuse to negotiate by way of collective bargaining'.
Commenting on the move, Gerry Light, Mandate Assistant General Secretary said, “The Minister’s commitment would see stronger powers for the Labour Court whereby they could issue determinations which will be enforceable through the Circuit Court.
"It’s important that this power would specifically be applied where employers such as Dunnes Stores refuse to engage in collective bargaining with workers through their unions.”
Yesterday, Sinn Féin councillor Larry O'Toole (pictured with Dunnes strikers) posted on social media that a number of Dunnes staff were 'called before management' on Friday, the day after the strike, and were 'informed that they were on a week's notice, and their employment was being terminated'.
As the Dublin North Central councillor put it, "This is a very disturbing turn of events, and the intimidation appears to be directly linked to last week's industrial action by staff."
Dunnes Stores was also criticised for announcing a 'one day only' online sale on all clothing and homewares on the day of the strike, with Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin labeling the move as "cynical".
"It appeals to the lowest common denominator to try and break the strike like that," he said. "I think people would recoil at that kind of a tactic. It's appalling."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones