Mandate Trade Union Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light has told Checkout that the failure of Dunnes Stores to engage with the union over the ongoing dispute would have a "huge impact" on the retailer's perception in the eyes of the general public.
In an exclusive interview, to be published in the May edition of Checkout, Light explained, "This campaign is entirely avoidable, the dispute is entirely avoidable, what comes after the one-day dispute is also entirely avoidable."
Commenting on reports that Dunnes sought to impose redundancies the day after industrial action took place on April 2, Light added, "I would imagine that breaking the workers' resolve has been Dunnes number one objective for the past eight weeks, since we announced that we were taking industrial action. But the workers get that.
"If Dunnes try to go down that road, and bust the workers and the union, I think the impact will be huge from the shopping public."
Mandate will convene a meeting on Sunday to discuss further potential industrial action, while a "significant event" to garner public support is also expected to be discussed.
"There are five elements to the campaign," Light explained, "industrial action, trade union support, public support, political support and media support.
"We will utilise all those different aspects of this campaign until someone in Dunnes Stores realises 'this is not 1944 when Ben Dunne Snr opened his first shop. This is 2015. We need to make a decision: either we're going to irreparably damage this business, or we need to bring it, kicking and screaming, into the modern era'."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones