February 15, 2023
Mandate report shows retail workers still facing huge difficulties – Louise O’Reilly TD​

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, said research published today by Mandate Trade Union shows retail workers still face huge problems in terms of pay, conditions, and access to hours.
 
Teachta O’Reilly said:
 
“Today Mandate Trade Union published sobering research into the conditions of retail workers in the State.
 
“The report, ‘Smoke and Mirrors: the facts about retail workers’ incomes in Ireland’, laid bare the issues which persist for workers in the retail sector – namely low pay and a lack of access to hours.
 
“The research shows nearly two-thirds of retail workers are earning less than €451 per week.
 
“Indeed, low pay is often caused by workers being unable to work more than their ‘banded hours’ contracts where extra working hours are available.
 
“This has created a situation where improving hourly rates have not been reflected in workers weekly earnings due to the low numbers of hours being worked by retail workers.
 
“Mandate’s research showed that a significant number of workers surveyed, 40%, would like to work more than their banded hours.
 
“Unfortunately, some workers do not get the opportunity to work additional hours due to management opposition and extra hours being used as a tool for controlling, disciplining, and punishing workers.
 
“The practice of deliberately withholding hours is always abhorrent but this is especially so in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
 
“In order to support and protect retail workers we need a meaningful move to a Living Wage we need legislative change to allow workers increase their working hours where extra hours are available.
 
“Finally, across the economy all workers would benefit from collective bargaining rights for recognised trade unions.
 
“Only by giving workers the tools to bargain for themselves can they ensure fair wages and decent conditions.”

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