Primark retail workers set to strike in 8 stores in northern Ieland

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Primark workers in eight stores across Northern Ireland are set to strike over pay and conditions, setting a precendent for private sector workers. Despite a pay freeze the company has made a staggering 644 million in profit in the last two years.  The Union of Shop and Distributive Allied workers (USDAW) represent around 85 percent of the Primark workforce in Northern Ireland and that fact that 93% of its members voted for strike action sends a clear message to management that enough is enough.

Meanwhile a recent report published by the Trade Union Congress has found that workers here gave their bosses thousands of hours of unpaid overtime, or the equivalent of more than 13,000 full-time jobs. Figures from the Labour Force Survey Summer Quarter 2011 found that 66,000 workers in the north put in an average of 7.5 hours of un-paid overtime a week last year, worth around 5,300 a year per person.

While this should come as no surprise to those of us who work on the shopfloor these figures highlight that this is not just a recession but pure robbery from a system that is based on the organised exploitation of us the majority by the minority the ruling class who live off our labour. Primark is highlighting once again that we have nothing in common with our bosses whether we are in a recession or not. 

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