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Mandate: Attempts By M&S To Push Cost-Saving Proposals 'Will Be Resisted In The Strongest Possible Way'

(28 April) Mandate assistant general secretary Gerry Light has said that any attempts by Marks & Spencer "to push through cost saving proposals without agreement will be resisted in the strongest possible way,” following the rejection of a Labour Court Recommendation, which backed proposed cost-saving measures at the retailer.

On Friday, Mandate and SIPTU members rejected the Recommendation by a margin of 84% to 14%, with Light claiming that under the company’s plans, some workers would be expected to take a cut of more than 20% in their terms and conditions of employment.

“This overwhelming rejection of the Labour Court Recommendation shows that workers in Marks & Spencer are united and prepared to fight to safeguard their conditions of employment," he said.

“Our members don’t believe the proposed cuts are reasonable having regard to all of the circumstances. As far as they are concerned, the company has failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify them and this is why our members have made such a strong statement to the company and the Labour Court."

Mandate has written to M&S in order to invite them back into the negotiations process, saying that the union "fully expects them to respect the outcome of this ballot and ensure there will be no further unilateral actions to reduce our members’ conditions of employment."

A Marks & Spencer spokesperson told Retail Intelligence that the retailer was now 'considering its options' following the ballot. "We are very disappointed with how this is progressing and with the outcome of today’s ballot. We entered into the Labour Court process agreeing to accept the Labour Court's independent recommendations and while the recommendations did not deliver all of the savings we required, we fully accepted their findings. We are now considering our options going forward.”

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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