Retail

The Dunnes Strike & Managing Change - the two souls of the trade union

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For three weeks, in June-July 1995, nearly 6,000 mostly young and part-time workers struck against Ireland's largest private sector employer, the firmly anti-union Dunnes Stores, over Sunday trading, zero-hours contracts, the proportion of full-time jobs and other issues. But the principal, and unstated, issues were probably union recognition and the organisation of the newly emergent semi-casual, part-time, young (and mainly female) section of the labour force. The result, while disappointing on the concrete 'economic' issues, was generally greeted as something of a breakthrough on the latter 'political' issues.

Union activists are facing new management attacks but the trade union leadership speaks only of partnership with the bosses. Des Derwin, member of the Executive of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and of the Dublin Private Sector Regional Executive Committee of SIPTU gives his personal view on the two souls of the unions. 

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.

Organising to beat the boss: Interview with a Belfast retail worker

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This is an interview with a member of the TGWU who is attempting to organise a union in a leading Irish Sports Shop in Belfast. It describes the problems facing workers in the retail sector who are exploited by their employers and start organising themselves in their own work-place to improve their conditions. These problems are even more acute when there is no history of unionisation in the workplace and a limited awareness of people's rights as workers.

Due to potential libel action and its consequences for the union we are unable to print the company’s name. 'An Ireland of equals' what rubbish!

Aldi strikers win after long struggle in Dublin

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The strike at the Aldi supermarket on Dublin's Parnell Street came to an end on Friday August 18th. It marked the end of a bitter three month struggle for union recognition. There had been mass pickets, sympathy protests at Aldi shops in Letterkenny, Galway and Cork, and generous donations from members of MANDATE and other unions.

Working conditions in retail - Confessions of a store grunt

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AT THE MOMENT there are approximately 236,400 people working in the wholesale and retail trade. Most of us working in this sector are badly paid, as unskilled labour usually is. Recently Roches Stores office workers went out on strike for better pay. Some of them were being paid as little as £4.16 an hour. They were successful and got a 25% pay rise.

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