Tom Hendy reports from Gorey
Dunnes in Gorey has reopened leaving staff traumatised after a week of muscle flexing and using them as a pawn in her game by owner, Margaret Heffernan.
The dispute was alledgedly over an entrance to the store. Dunnes sought to use this entrance, but this was not in their contract. This resulted in an injunction on Dunnes by the shopping centre management and the response of Dunnes was to announce immediate closure of its store, No explanation or details were given to staff.
Speaking to staff, who did not wish to be named, it was obvious, they felt betrayed, hurt, and worried about their future employment. Some of these 100 staff, many of whom have many years’ service, spoke of how management at the store refused to clarify what was going on and offered no assurances about job security.
Notices were placed in the store windows informing the public of immediate closure until further notice. Mandate trade union officials met with Dunnes management, but received little better result. This practice of disregarding the interests of both staff and union is an old habbit of the Dunnes.
The workers, while glad to be back at work, still suffer the insecurity of low hour contracts, and uncertainty about their future. The huge success the Dunnes group have experienced in Ireland, is down in large part to their workers and it is a disgrace that they should be treated in this way.
The staff will be taking part in the June 6 Decency for Dunnes Workers protest in Dublin and have asked that everybody who can, to join them in their march for respect and decent pay, and conditions of employment. Assemble 1pm Merrion Square.