Sinn Féin Louth County Councillor Imelda Munster said today that the Government’s failure to legislate to protect the rights of those in precarious and low paid employment has set the scene for the upcoming strike on Holy Thursday by Dunnes Stores workers.
Councillor Munster, who is also a candidate in the upcoming General Election said:
“Sinn Féin is standing in solidarity with the Dunnes workers here in Louth and indeed across the country, who have found themselves left with no choice but to engage in strike action this Thursday (2nd April) as a result of the actions of their very profitable employer.
“Dunnes Stores workers are being treated unfairly and I applaud their bravery and courage in standing their ground amid reports of intimidation and harassment of those planning to stand at the picket lines.
“This campaign is about fair terms and conditions, it is about decent pay, decent work and the right of the workers to have their trade union representation recognised and respected”.
Councillor Munster then called on “the political representatives of all parties and the public in general to show their solidarity and support for the Dunnes stores workers in any way they can. Let’s send a clear message to the management of Dunnes Stores and let them know that it is not acceptable to treat staff in this manner and it will not be tolerated.
“There can be no doubt that the 129,000 low paid workers across this state have been badly let down by this Government. Despite the clear commitment by the Labour Party after a complaint was taken to the International Labour Organisation in 2011, we are still awaiting the legislation to give effect to the right of workers to collective bargaining and bring Ireland into line with its international obligations in this area.
“Similarly, despite the fact that a Mandate report on low paid and precarious work was presented to Oireachtas members two years ago, the Government has failed to take action to adequately protect vulnerable workers in this category.
“It is time for the Government to wake up and realise that we cannot build an economy on low pay and reduced terms and conditions for workers. It is ordinary workers like those in Dunnes Stores that are the foundations of our economy and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by their employer and Government alike.”