by Philip Ferguson
Six thousand workers employed in 109 Dunnes Stores in the south of Ireland staged a 24-hour strike yesterday (Thursday, April 2). (The business sells food, clothing, home furnishings; they’re roughly similar to a chain like Woolworths in NZ.)
Whereas in New Zealand, there is currently a campaign against zero-hours contracts, in the Dunnes Stores case the most pressing issue is low-hours contracts. About 80 percent of Dunnes workers have only 15 hours guaranteed work a week, so the effect is still that they cannot plan their finances beyond any one week, if even that. The strike is also for pay improvements, job security and the guarantee of union representation.
The striking workers are members of Mandate union, to which 67 percent of the Dunnes Stores workers belong, while some other workers employed by the company are members of SIPTU union. (Mandate…
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