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SHOPFLOOR MANDATE TRADE UNION

E Z I S E ON L! L A S T I F

EDITION

SPEND YOUR MONEY WHERE WORKERS COUNT

ts Workers’ Righ g Ethical Shoppin

L VE THE LABEL!

Picture: Roger Mommaerts (CC BY-SA 2.0)

SPECIAL

JULY 2013


SPECIAL

ETHICAL He added: “Fair Shop is a modern ethical consumerism campaign. It is built primarily on the principle of putting workers first for a change.  We would call on consumers to shop with a conscience, back the campaign and support workers’ rights.” The idea behind Fair Shop is not new – in fact, you could say it’s 100 years old. Just look at the archived minutes of the Twentieth Annual Trades Congress held in the City Hall, Cork, in May 1913. One of the motions debated at the congress concerned “Trades Union Shops”. According to the records, delegates T Johnson and A Doran argued for the need for unions to use the ethical buying strength of consumers to further workers’ rights. We feel sure comrades Johnson and Doran would have wholeheartedly thrown their backing behind the current Fair Shop campaign. Nowadays, Fair Shops recognise their employees’ rights to join a trade union and afford them full collective bargaining rights. We believe these rights are fun-

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Fair Shop is about making an informed consumer choice and about putting workers and responsible employers first for a change

damental and basic and well worth supporting with your spending power. One of the key objectives of Fair Shop is to support and promote quality employment in the retail sector by encouraging consumers who care about workers’ rights to choose Fair Shop companies and their local stores.  Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light told Shopfloor: “As many trade unionists will undoubtedly testify, very few – if any – relationships between an employer, their employees and their union is ever perfect. “Disagreements happen from time to time but Fair Shop transcends the day-to-day drudgery of industrial relations and acknowledges those employers who

EACH day as consumers we are faced with a bewildering diversity of choice about what to buy and where to shop.  Major retailers spend hundreds of millions, billions even, on highend advertising and eye-catching branding to try and persuade you – the shopper – where you should spend your hard-earned cash. But one option we tend to overlook as shoppers is choosing to Spend Your Money Where Workers Count. Mandate has launched a new and exciting campaign that could revolutionise the way you shop. This is designed to give you – the consumer – the valuable option of spending your money and supporting retailers that respect the rights of their employees. Welcoming the innovative drive, Mandate General Secretary John Douglas said it was designed to “promote a value” for retailers by highlighting the advantages of “respecting workers and offering them a decent living income”.

‘do the right thing’.” And we hope Ireland’s 800,000 trade union members, their families and supporting organisations will also “do the right thing”. They can make an informed choice by checking out a Fair Shop in their local area and by making ethical purchases on a regular basis. In recent years, there have been increasing assaults on workers’ rights, pay and conditions of service by many unscrupulous employers. Mr Light

said: “These employers have sought to gain an unfair and financial advantage over those competitors that do respect their employees’ entitlements. “This approach needs to be challenged across the retail sector by the spending power of thousands of ethically-minded consumers.” As trade unionists and as responsible citizens we should be making the “informed choice” each time we make a retail purchase. Fair Shop not only provides the information needed by consumers to make the choice of spending money where workers count much easier but it also demonstrates to retailers the importance of recognising the rights of workers to join and be repre-

sented by a trade union. Our use of collective and individual consumer power has the very real potential to improve conditions for workers across the retail sector and Fair Shop provides the basic information required for you to make those ethical purchasing decisions. Over the coming months and in the years ahead, Fair Shop will develop brand recognition and strength by working alongside Fair Shop retailers and by encouraging 800,000 workers and their families on this island to shop Fair.  Our intention is clear, we wish to acknowledge those employers who ‘do business’ with their employees on issues such as pay, decent contracts and terms and conditions and we jointly commit with these employers to support and promote quality jobs and decent work in the retail industry in Ireland.

VALUE Describing the initial reaction to the campaign as “fantastic”, National Coordinator Brian Forbes told Shopfloor: “Already many Fair Shop-nominated employers seeing the value in the initiative have been talking to Mandate about developing brand awareness and promoting joint actions.” As an integral part and the driving force behind the Fair Shop initiative, a website – www.fairshop.ie – has been launched.  The site is compatible with all modern Smartphone technology and is running regular Fair Shop promotions that are only accessible on the site.   It also features a list of Fair Shop employers and supporters. Added to that the campaign also has dedicated Facebook and Twitter social networking pages. Mr Forbes added: “Importantly from a consumer’s point of view – the site incorporates a Fair Shop location finder so you have no excuse for being unable to locate a Fair Shop locally.        “Fair Shop is about making the informed consumer choice and about putting workers and responsible employers first for a change. It’s plain and simple....It’s about Spending Your Money Where Workers Count.”

Picture: Howard Lake (CC BY 2.0)

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Be aware, Shop Fair THE trade union principle of an injury to one is an injury to all is as valid today as it was during the 1913 Lockout. Workers’ solidarity is the glue which bonds the trade union movement together into a force for change.

Mandate’s Fair Shop campaign sets out to identify those major retail employers in Ireland who respect the rights of their workers to join a union and collectively bargain. We ask you, our trade union family to show solidarity with these fair shops by spending your union wage where workers count.

In 1913 the struggle was for the right to join and be represented by a union; rights which the employers Together we can make a difference, Think Union, of the day saw as such a threat to their elite posiThink Fair Shop. tions, that they locked out tens of thousands of workers from their jobs. John Douglas Mandate General Secretary In 2013 there are still major employers in Ireland who deny their workers these basic human rights – they too have locked out their workers through fear and intimidation.

John Douglas: promoting a value

Picture: Creative Tools (CC BY 2.0) July 2013

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SPECIAL

Recognition for a job well done By Joan Gaffney

Mandate President Brown Thomas, Grafton St, Dublin On bEHALf of retail workers and the tens of thousands of Mandate members working diligently across the Irish retail sector, I’d like to extend our sincere appreciation for your continuing support for this important campaign. As a retail worker I appreciate and empathise with the economic struggles and difficulties being experienced by so many retail workers caused by the imposition of austerity measures and the contraction of domestic demand and the reduction in our spending power caused by these crazy policies. fair Shop is all about putting workers first and rewarding employers who recognise the importance of those same workers to their business. All too often

WHY I BACK FAIR SHOP David Gibney (Mandate), ICTU Youth Committee Secretary ‘When you go to work, in whatever industry you’re in, you should be entitled to dignity and respect and to not be living below the poverty line. The best way to ensure that retail workers get paid fairly and are treated with respect is to shop in an outlet which respects the workers’ basic human right to be in a trade union and to be represented by that trade union through the collective bargaining process. That’s why I always shop in a Fair Shop’

we as consumers complain about the fact we never know where to shop from an ethical perspective so having fair Shop indicate the locations and the addresses on the website is fantastic. The special fair Shop competitions on facebook and Twitter also bring a new and exciting dimension to the campaign and it is great to see so many people actively involved in supporting workers’ rights to collectively bargain. I work in a fair Shop and I commit to supporting fair Shops as a consumer and also as a union activist. I’d encourage each and every one of you to do the same. It is the very least hard-working staff in the Irish retail sector deserve. A bit of respect and recognition for a job well done in an employment that actively bargains with workers is what fair Shop is all about. Shop fair in a fair Shop – I know I will!

supporting

Ciara Kinsella (ASTI), ICTU Youth Committee ‘One reason why I support Fair Shops is because employment can/should be more than just a job. In order to utilise productivity to its fullest, employees need to not only feel but to experience value of worth and to have a real say in the workplace. Through Fair Shops this platform is provided’

Union Representatives Introductory Course N UNIO REP

The Union Representative Introductory Training Course is for new shop stewards/union representatives. The course aims to provide information, skills and knowledge to our shop stewards/union representatives to assist them in their role in the workplace.

Course content: • Background to Mandate. • The role and responsibilities of a Shop Steward/Union Representative. • Examining disciplinary/grievance procedures. • Developing negotiating skills. • Representing members at local level. • Communication skills/solving members’ problems. • Organising, Recruitment and Campaigns. • Induction presentations. Certification and Progression: Members who successfully complete this course will obtain a Mandate certificate. They may progress to a Union Representative Advanced Course and to other relevant training courses offered by Mandate.

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If you are interested in this course, please contact your Mandate official or Mandate's Training Centre at 01-8369699. Email: mandateotc@mandate.ie SHOPFLOOR

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...it’s about strength of the many, not needs of the few... COMMENT By DAVID BEGG ICTU General Secretary

When you make out your shopping list, make it a... Picture: striatic (CC BY 2.0) July 2013

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AbOUT 150 years ago, working people the known world over had a collective brainwave. Instead of facing all-powerful employers individually and alone, they reasoned, why not combine and leverage the strength of the many? Like all brilliant ideas it had the virtue of simplicity and once unleashed, it proved unstoppable. Thus trade unions were born – the most powerful force for positive social and economic change that the world has ever known. but at times it seems that we forget this vital lesson from history and that every generation has to learn it anew. Without basic human solidarity we can have no hope whatsoever of influencing or shaping the world about us. It is a lesson that has been learned and taken to heart by the organisers of the fair Shop initiative, in Mandate, something for which they are to be congratulated. It is based essentially on a view of people not as passive consumers, but as active citizens who are interested in fairness and want to see decent standards applied to all. The fair Shop initiative allows them to do so simply by making informed choices about how and where they shop and the type of retail outlet that they support. fair Shops are those outlets

which recognise unions and have collective agreements with Mandate, thereby giving their workers a real and significant voice in the workplace. Over the last five years, as the crisis has deepened, employers and governments have resorted to bargain basement politics in ever more desperate efforts to contrive a resolution. This has seen workers’ conditions and protections targeted and weakened all over Europe. Here in Ireland we have seen social welfare rates cut, the Minimum Wage targeted and mechanisms that protect the low paid scuppered. but making the weak weaker, or further impoverishing the poorest is no solution – just makes the crisis worse. We see evidence of this daily with our own eyes. Recovery can only be built on the back of decent jobs and good standards – another lesson from history that is currently being ignored. As trade union members and active citizens we have the power – through initiatives like fair Shop – to help drive standards upwards in workplaces all over the island and to ensure that decent work becomes the cornerstone of recovery. It’s about the strength of the many, not the needs of the few.

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www.cwu.ie

www.fairshop.ie

‘All we are saying is give Fair Shop a chance’ Picture: orsorama (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Communication Workers Union All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

SUPPORTS

See what we can do for you. Good design can benefit your organisation and its members. Contact David in Language on 01 878 3300, www.language.ie Proudly working with the Trade Union Movement since 1989

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All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

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SPECIAL

SHOPFLOOR MANDATE TRADE UNION

The voice of

MANDATE

Rescuers scramble through the debris at the collapsed Rana Plaza building in a desperate bid to locate survivors

Picture: Qamrul Anam Coordinator, Textile & RMG, IBC

Uni Global backs Fair Shop drive

lives by giving them access to union memberMANDATE’S Fair Shop campaign has successship and ensuring they can benefit from colfully encouraged Ireland’s 800,000 trade lective bargaining.   unionists and consumers to shop with retailUNI Global Union’s Head of Commerce, ers who respect decent work.  Alke Boessiger, points out that What is important is that a the newly-established Accord Fair Shop employer recognises on Fire and Building Safety in an employee’s right to join a Bangladesh is another example union and afford workers repreof the important role of unions sentative’s full collective barin devising innovative ways of gaining rights. engaging companies. Many of Ireland’s leading reShe told Shopfloor: “50 leadtailers are listed as Fair Shops ing multinational companies because they realise their cushave signed the Accord in the tomers now expect them to act wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy.  ethically, with their own work“The Accord and Fair Shop force and all along the supplyshare the same guiding princichain. ple: workers’ rights are part of And UNI Global Union has human rights and workers congratulated Mandate on this must be treated fairly.  successful initiative which is “Safe working conditions, the very much in tune with UNI’s Alke Boessiger: ‘innovative’ right to join a union and collecdrive for global framework tive bargaining are inalienable rights. UNI apagreements with multinationals.  plauds Mandate for the work they have done To date, UNI has signed 48 agreements and with Fair Shop and wishes the initiative every they provide companies with a set of agreed success in the future.”  standards on workers’ rights to apply across UNI is also encouraging all its retail affilitheir international networks.  ates to consider introducing a similar scheme Fair Shop and UNI’s global framework to Fair Shop in their own countries. agreements are all about improving workers’ July 2013

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CAMPAIGN Y B D E K C A B IS www.fairshop.ie

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SPECIAL

Love the label...

IFUT supports the Fair Shop campaign www.fairshop.ie

www.ifut.ie

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PROUD TO BACK FAIR SHOP CAMPAIGN 8

All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

Shopping for the economy ANALYSIS

By Michael Taft THERE has been much discussion about how to support workers in employment – whether through higher wages, more working hours, better conditions, or more labour rights.   This usually revolves around joining a union and influencing government policy. However, there has been up to now little discussion about how we get the general public involved – the people on the other side of the cash register, at the restaurant table, on the pub stool.    That is why Mandate’s Fair Shop campaign is so welcome.  Its innovation is to invite people to participate in the campaign to improve working conditions in the retail sector in a very simple, easy and everyday way; namely, to get people to shop in businesses that treat their workers fairly by recognising their right to negotiate with their employers through a trade union.   The benefit to the owners of a Fair Shop and their employees should be obvious.   If more people shop in their premises, the higher their sales and the greater their profits – profits which can be shared out to workers through collective bargaining.  But is there a larger economic and social benefit?  Yes, and this is what gives the Fair Shop campaign such potential. First, let’s acknowledge that just because a business is a Fair Shop doesn’t mean workers won’t have problems with their employers. However, where workers bargain collectively, they are in a stronger position to address these problems on their own terms.  On the other hand, where businesses refuse to recog-

nise their employees’ rights, workers are at a much greater disadvantage and have less chance to correct or mitigate any wrongs.  So, the Fair Shop campaign seeks to direct more business activity to work places where employers are in a stronger position. Why does this matter for the overall economy?  Here is one small example. If workers are able to negotiate higher wages or more working hours so that their weekly income increases on foot of higher turnover, the state benefits from higher taxation (for every €100 wage increase, the state gets nearly €42 through direct taxation/PRSI).  Other businesses also benefit, because those workers will spend more.  This has the win-win effect of increasing growth and reducing the deficit.  However, if the employer hoards the money, the state receives far less while there is almost no increase in consumer spending.  Apart from a few enriching themselves, where is the gain? Question: in which workplace is a successful negotiation for higher incomes likely to take place? The one where workers can negotiate through a trade union. There’s another way the economy benefits. In Fair Shop businesses, workers are able to prevent, if not all, then many violations of labour law – in the area of working time, payments, discrimination, etc.  This, of course, benefits the workers involved.   But there is a wider social gain – and this cuts to the core of the general trade union demand for what can be called ‘high-road employment’. SHOPFLOOR

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Higher wages feed back into the business economy through higher spending

Many employer organisation, government ministers and media commentators equate ‘competitiveness’ with reduced wages and working conditions.  This ‘race-to-the-bottom’ results in not only lower spending but lower productivity as well.   Productivity means how much can be produced by a business for every hour of business.  The higher the productivity, the more profit can be shared out.   We used to have a public agency called the National Centre of Partnership and Performance (before it was abolished through spending cuts).  They studied what makes for good workplaces.   A key finding of theirs was that businesses that (a) recognised workers’ right to negotiate through a trade union, and (b) involved their employees in the decision-making process of the business (profit-sharing, consultation, etc.) were the most productive.  Businesses that refused to recognise this right and foster these practices were the least productive.   Why is this?  An involved, engaged workforce whose rights are respected and whose participation is welcomed are more productive than workplaces that deny rights, engage in dodgy practices and generally treat their employees like a commodity.  Imagine which workplace you’d like to work in.  Of course, low-road employers can and do make a profit – but it is not shared out to the same extent as the ‘fair’ employers.  The few benefit, the rest have to make do – and the rest includes not only the employees but the economy at large. The more successful businesses understand

Picture: Miki Yoshihito (CC BY 2.0)

the benefits of higher productivity through more progressive practices.  And economies built on these kinds of businesses are more successful – for the employer and the employee.   Look at countries which have economies like our own:  small open economies which are highly reliant on exports (Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, and Sweden).   In these countries, workers have the right to negotiate through trade unions.  And their wage levels reflect that:  workers in the wholesale/retail sector earn on average nearly 30% more than retail workers here.  And that doesn’t count the social benefits those workers receive such as free GP care and low-cost prescription medicine because employers pay a much higher PRSI payment. Yet, retail enterprises in those countries are still highly profitable. These higher wages feed back into the business economy through higher spending.  This is the virtual circle that starts from a Fair Shop.  This is not to say retail workers in these other countries don’t have problems with their employers, but they have a stronger negotiating platform than most retail workers here. Mandate’s Fair Shop campaign can promote these beneficial impacts – for workers, for Fair Shop companies and the larger economy.  But we all need to participate in that campaign. There are over 650,000 trade unionists in the Republic.  That doesn’t count their families, retired members and people who would like to join a union but are under pressure from

employers not to.   Nor does it count the thousands who are not in a trade union but support the aims of the campaign.   What would happen if even a small portion of trade unionists (e.g. one in 10) switched spending to Fair Shops at, say, an average of €10 per week?  It would come to €33 million a year.  That is a significant sum being diverted into workplaces that respect workers’ rights – a real gain for the business owners and for the employees.  These gains will feed back into the economy bringing more positive results. And if this is an inducement for good businesses, it should also as an incentive for businesses to sign up to the Fair Shop label.  If you think about, it would be the easiest profit a business could make – acknowledge the rights of your workers to gain the patronage of more workers.   There are challenges ahead for the Fair Shop campaign.  For many people who want to support this initiative, a Fair Shop may not yet exist in the area or be convenient to reach. And there is the need to ensure that the employers realise the actual gains accruing to them from the campaign itself (this also makes it easier to show the businesses that are not Fair Shops what they are losing).    But Mandate has provided the platform to tackle these and other challenges – by setting up the campaign in the first place.  Now it is our turn to take the next steps – to advertise this campaign wherever we can:  with our families, friends and workmates.   And to support the campaign by shopping in Fair Shops. 

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What a wonderful world it would be...

10 reasons to

This cartoon is part of a new education and campaign resource developed by Comhlรกmh and is available for use by NGOs, organisations and activist groups for non-commercial purposes. Check out: http://www.comhlamh.org/trade-how-it-is-and-how-it-could-be July 2013

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1. Fair Shops recognise the right of workers to join a union. 2. Fair Shop workers have access to advice on workplace rights. 3. Giving a Fair Shop your custom is good for the economy. 4. Fair Shop workers can collectively bargain for better wages and conditions. 5. Fair Shops tend to have better health and safety procedures. 6. A Fair Shop allows a level of democracy in the workplace. 7. Fair Shop workers understand that there is strength in numbers. 8. Fair Shop workers tend to have minimum levels of hours and therefore a decent income. 9. By shopping in a Fair Shop you acknowledge workers have a right to collectively bargain. 10. Fair Shop workers have better access and support with grievance and disciplinary procedures.

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Small change that makes a big difference

backs

COMMENT By GERRY LIGHT Mandate Deputy General Secretary

www.fairshop.ie

www.siptu.ie

Together we can change the world

All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

UNI Global Union represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions in the fastest growing sectors in the world – skills and services. UNI has signed 48 Global Agreements with multinational companies designed to set fair standards and conditions for their more than 10 million workers.

UNI and our affiliates, including Mandate in Ireland, are driven by the responsibility to ensure all jobs in our sectors are decent and workers’ rights are protected including the right to join a union and collective bargaining. In partnership with IndustriALL and a group of leading NGOs, UNI is developing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. More than 40 leading global brands have already committed to the Accord. The Accord shows how unions can come together all along the supply chain to benefit workers and break through.

UNI Global Union - strength in numbers!

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All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

EvEN from a neutral perspective it is clear that the notion behind the Fair Shop idea is one which should sit comfortably in a modern progressive society that values all its citizens equally and affords them the opportunity of parity of esteem.  Unfortunately whilst many so-called civilised western cultures appear to, in general, espouse this particular societal aspiration, often they fail dramatically in the way that they treat people from both an individual and collective perspective.    The Fair Shop concept is simple in its construct and we should robustly defend its advancement against those who casually dismiss it or attempt to render it as a meaningless exercise in futility and one which has no part  in the overall priority of things which presently face us in this post Celtic Tiger era.  

COLLECTIVE In fact it has never been truer to state that we now need initiatives such as Fair Shop more than ever to ensure that we regularly prick our individual, and more importantly, national collective conscience in order to challenge smug, right-wing orthodoxy which suggests that workers and their organisations are somehow to blame for our current economic woes and, therefore, we have an obligation to make further regular unknown sacrifices in order for recovery to take place. One thing the last five years of austerity have shown us is that any opposition which relies on a disparate individual response will not succeed in the face of vested interests that largely control the powerful tools of communication, finance and sadly politics.   It is time to bring home and open up the potential of the collective which for many years has been feared and openly resented by the so-called privileged classes.   Ironically, in the year that we celebrate the centenary of the 1913 Lockout and recall the extent to which employers went to smash the potent power of the collective we also remember the views expressed by the late Margaret Thatcher who once famously claimed there was no such thing as society rather just individuals.   In fairness, Thatcher and her ilk were not hiding anything – they were simply reminding us once again that divided we are weak, together we are strong.  Clearly this central tenet of Thatcherism is alive and well and it is high time that we stop

exerting our energies towards a simple but understandable detest for those disciples who blindly follow it.   Instead we should deploy the most potent force available to the working class in order to destroy it, and that is the deployment of cohesive and determined collectivism. It is obvious that we do not need to create a new type of vehicle to drive this forward as one is clearly and readily available to us and that is membership of a trade union and, by association, the wider trade union movement.  The simple manifestation of the power of this collective approach starts first in the workplace.  Obviously if an employer is willing to engage on this basis the chances of a successful outcome for the workers is more likely.   Conversely, where such willingness is absent, individual workers are instead more likely to be exploited and taken advantage of.   The negative precedents and order that evolve from such a reality are then clinically used in an attempt to portray some form of normality within the relevant sector which is used over time as an effective and dangerous tool to dismantle established collective negotiated agreements.

RESPECT Significantly, since the demise of the JLCs and REAs, workers across a range of different sectors can no longer rely on the protections previously afforded through statutory mechanisms.   It is apparent more than ever that the likelihood of workers being treated well and with the dignity and respect they deserve is greatly enhanced when they are collectively represented by a union.   It is an indisputable fact that this will rarely or ever happen in a store which does not fulfil the criteria for a Fair Shop.  That is the Fair Shop concept in a nutshell.   For it to grow and take root it requires not only the active participation of workers, employers and unions but, most importantly, the consumer.   It makes sense that if we as workers are to drive home the importance of the right to be formally recognised with the intent to collectively bargain, we must collectively act as a workers movement in a decisive way.   SUPPORT A FAIR SHOP THE NEXT TIME YOU, YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS SHOP. MAKE A SMALL CHANGE FOR A BIG DIFFERENCE. SHOPFLOOR

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Derek Keenan (CWU), ICTU Youth Committee Chairperson ‘In a time when the wages and conditions of workers are under constant attack from employers we should be conscious of where we as citizens, trade unionists and consumers spend our money. Through the Fair Shop initiative we are afforded the opportunity to support those companies that recognise and respect their workers right to join a trade union and to collectively bargain which ultimately ensures them a fairer deal’

Paul Dillon (Unite), ICTU Youth Committee ‘We should all support this campaign because it is a chance to respond to a trade union initiative that is making a difference’

Picture: OEA

We should deploy the most potent force available to the working class...the deployment of cohesive, determined collectivism

WHY I BACK FAIR SHOP

www.fairshop.ie

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WHY WE BACK FAIR SHOP Teresa Walsh (INTO), Vice-chair of ICTU Youth Committee ‘I support Fair Shops because Fair Shops support their workers. INTO believes that workplace representation and collective bargaining are paramount factors in protecting workers’ rights’

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Gareth Murphy (IBOA), ICTU Youth Committee ‘Union jobs are better paid and better protected jobs, young workers increasingly face precarious work and need to organise and achieve collective bargaining, this campaign highlights and supports those companies that respect their workers’ right to collective bargaining and I support that’

All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

The Public Service Executive Union supports workers in their fight for union recognition and fair conditions. We applaud the ‘Fair Shop’ and ‘Clean Clothes’ campaigns and we are happy to be associated with them.

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All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

Union Representatives Advanced Course The Union Representative Advanced Training Course is for shop stewards/union representatives who have completed the introductory course or who have relevant experience.

Course content:

• Understanding Mandate’s structures • Overview of Mandate’s rules • Industrial Relations institutions and mechanisms • Mandate’s Organising Model

• • • • •

Negotiations & Collective Bargaining Understanding Equality and Diversity Developing induction presentation skills Introduction to Employment Law Identifying issues and using procedures

Certification and Progression: Members who successfully complete this training course will obtain a Mandate certificate. They may progress to the FETAC level 5 Certificate in Trade Union studies or other relevant training courses offered by Mandate.

If you are interested in this course, please contact your Mandate official or Mandate's Training Centre at 01-8369699. Email: mandateotc@mandate.ie

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The Irish Trade Union Congress Executive Committee of 1913. Irish Drapers Assistants Association chief Michael O’Lehane, far right front row, sitting next to Jim Larkin. James Connolly stands far left. The IDAA were a predecessor union to Mandate in the retail sector Picture: 1913 Committee

A bright idea at any time Trade unionists rightly remember 1913 as the year of the Lockout – and dozens of commemorations and events have marked the centenary of that great clash between Irish labour and Irish capital. Fair Shop, launched in the run up to last Christmas, may not have been around for as long but its inspirational pedigree stretches back to those momentous times. Below is a selection from the archived minutes of the Twentieth Annual Trades Congress, held in City Hall, Cork, in May 1913. One motion debated at the congress concerned ‘Trade Union Shops’ – the Fair Shop initiative in all but name...

Trade Union Shops “That we call on all Trades Unionists and their families to make inquiries when purchasing goods, not only in regard to the conditions under which those goods were produced, but also in regard to the conditions in the particular distributive shop in which they are purchasing, and to ascertain from the assistant on all occasions whether he or she is a Trades Unionist”. Mr T. Johnson proposed, and Mr. A. Doran (Belfast) seconded and it was agreed.

The Shops Act “That this Congress, composed of the Representatives of Irish Trades Unionists, heartily sympathise with the object of a weekly half-holiday and shorter hours for shop assistants.  We strongly protest against the manner in which certain public July 2013

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bodies in Ireland endeavour to evade the provisions of the Shops Act, more especially in regard to the granting of the weekly half-holiday and adequate time for meals.  We are of opinion that the Act should be amended in the following respects: 1. There must be a limitation of the hours to 48 per week; a compulsory closing on the weekly half-holiday; and a total abolition of Sunday trading. 2. The provisions of the Act must be extended to all shop assistants and clerks no matter where employed, and the clause exempting towns other than Borough or Urban areas must be deleted. 3. The exemption clause dealing with Licensed Traders must also be amended. “Copies of this resolution to be sent to the Home Secretary, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and to the Whips of the various Parties in Parliament.” Mr M.J. O’Lehane, who moved the

motion, stated:“There was no reason why the 48 hours week should not be given.  It was unfair to exclude nearly one-half of the shop assistants from the Act because they lived in excluded areas.   “An extraordinary anomaly in the Act was that in premises that were licensed they could sell anything whilst other shops which were not licensed were closed.   “That clause was not in the original Bill, and was smuggled in in the interests of the licensed trade, and was not opposed by those who should have opposed it.” Mr. Johnson (Belfast) seconded the resolution saying: “The 48 hours week should be the limit for shop assistants, as it should be for the general workers of the country.”

Fair Wages Resolution “That, having regard to the unsatisfactory interpretation given to the Fair Wages Resolution by the greater

number of Irish administrative bodies, this Congress instructs the Parliamentary Committee to use its influence with County Councils, Poor Law Boards, and other departments of Irish administration to adopt and enforce the Fair wages Clause, clearly defining that only firms who pay Trade Union rates and observe Trade Union conditions shall be eligible to tender for their contracts”. “That this Congress pledge itself to inquire minutely into the conditions of labour which employees on all Government Contracts work under, and see that the Fair Wage Resolution of same be put into full effect to secure to these workers the remuneration which they are entitled to by law”. Proposed by Mr. James Nolan (Dublin). The resolution was were seconded by Mr. T. Lawlor, T.C. , P.L.G. (Dublin), and Messrs. Ronayne (Queenstown), and supported by J. Hanlon (Dublin).

Minimum Wage & Apprenticeships “That owing to the miserably low wage generally paid to shop assistants and the growing practice of introducing boy and girl labour into shops, we are of opinion that a minimum wage for all shop assistants and clerks should be at once established, and we strongly condemn the action of employers who trade on cheap labour, and who induce apprentices to enter shop life under false pretences, knowing that a very large percentage of them will never have an opportunity of making a livelihood.  “We desire to warn parents and guardians of the fact that shop life is considerably overcrowded, and before being induced to send their sons or daughters as apprentices they should make strict inquiries in regard to the possibilities of the future”. Proposed by Mr M.J. O’Lehane. 15


SPECIAL

Why I choose to shop in a Fair Shop By Sandra Stapleton EVERy week, we all make a decision at least once about where we’re going to spend our hard earned cash. Where will we buy our groceries, our clothes, our shoes, our toiletries, or for some of us, our makeup? That decision, for most of us, takes very little consideration. Some of us choose a place where there’s a comfortable shopping experience, or somewhere where the customer service is exceptional. Sometimes it’s as simple as what’s conveniently close by. Increasingly though, following several years of austerity measures which have resulted in a loss of income for many households, it has become tempting for some of us to shop in discount stores in order to get ‘value for money.’ However, at times like this it is even more important that we, as consumers, pay particular attention to which retailers we support. In a country where trade unions have no collective bargaining rights, it is imperative that we support retailers who voluntarily respect their own workforce by

CPSU backs Fair Shop ...supporting lower paid

entering into agreements with their staff. Retailers such as Tesco, boots, Superquinn, Penneys, Marks & Spencers, to name a few, allow their workers to have a say in how the workplace is run and what terms and conditions of employment the staff enjoy. If a company announces record profits, sometime for three or four years in a row, the workers can argue for a fairer share of those profits through the collective bargaining process. Over the past year or so, Mandate members have negotiated several collective agreements with retailers which will see several millions of euros in the hands of workers instead of going to already wealthy shareholders, here or abroad. This extra cash in the hands of workers will not only help them to pay their bills, it will also help to boost the local economy through extra spending which in turn creates jobs. Workers with collective bargaining rights can negotiate grievance and disciplinary procedures which are strictly adhered to ensuring all workers are treated equally and that the employer doesn’t target those who he/she takes an arbitrary disliking to.

Some retailers say they allow a level of ‘engagement’ with their staff, but that is no substitute for real trade union collective bargaining led by trade union members. What Ireland needs now as a country is for working people to stand together collectively and you can help by making a simple decision to support retailers that engage in collective bargaining with their staff. It makes sense from an ethical, economical and workers’ rights perspective and says a lot about what type of society we want to be. I personally make a decision to shop in a fair Shop because I want workers to be respected and have access to their fundamental human right to be in a trade union and be represented by that union, something that successive Irish governments have shamefully failed to legislate for. If you believe all workers have a right to be respected, and to be represented by their trade union, starting from today, I’m asking you to make a commitment that you’ll spend your money where workers count. Picture: John Chaney

Communications Workers Communications Workers’ Union Our Conference Hall can cater for

TECH N I PE & CAPACITIES ACITI E S TECHNICAL SPEC

workers home and away

240 Theatre-style or 180 Classroom-style

sConference Hall capacity Theatre Theatre Style sConference sConference Hall capacity Classroom Style sConference sNational Executive Boardroom Boardroom sNational sLeinster Boardroom Boardroom sLeinster sMunster Boardroom Boardroom sMunster sConnacht Boardroom Boardroom sConnacht sUlster Boardroom Boardroom sUlster sBreakout Areas for various no delegates sBreakout sSecluded Private Garden sSecluded sRooftop Garden sRooftop sComplimentary parking for over 25 cars sComplimentary sComplimentary wifi sComplimentary sVideo/T conference facility sVideo/Tele

24 18 45 22 20 16 10 3

o find out more about the facilities at William Norton House, or to book your next event, please contact: To all, Communications Workers’ Workers’ Union, William William Norton House, 575-577 575-577 North Circular Road, Dublin 1 Imelda Wall, T +353 1 866 66 3000 3000 Fax: +353 1 866 866 3099 3099 E-mail: imelda@cwu.ie Tel:

TECHNICAL SPEC & CAPACITIES • Conference Hall capacity Theatre Style 240 • Conference Hall capacity o find outStyle more180 about the facilities at William Norton or to book your22 next event, ple To Classroom • National Executive Boardroom 45House, • Leinster Boardroom all, Communications orkers’ Union, W illiam Norton House,Boardroom 5 75-577 North Imelda Wall, Workers’ William 575-577 • Munster Boardroom 20 W • Connacht Boardroom 16 • Ulster 10 Circular Road, Du E-mail: imelda@cwu.ie T el: +353 1 8 66 3 000 Fax: +353 1 8 66 3 099 Tel: 866 3000 3099 • Three breakout areas for various numbers of delegates • 866 Secluded Private Garden • Rooftop Garden • Complimentary parking for over 25 cars • Complimentary wifi • Video/Tele conference facility

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All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

To find out more about the facilities at William Norton House, or to book your next event, please contact: Imelda Wall, Communications Workers’ Union, William Norton House, 575-577 North Circular Road, Dublin 1 E-mail: imelda@cwu.ie Tel: +353 1 866 3000 Fax: +353 1 866 3099 All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

SHOPFLOOR

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BA CK IN G

s k c a b s s e r Cong

...Spend your money ... t n u o c s r e rk o w e r whe www.fairshop.ie www.nwci.ie All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

www.fairshop.ie

All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

www.mrci.ie

We’re happy to support Fair Shop, a better, fairer way to shop...

G N I T R SUPPO RKERS O W D I A P W O L www.into.ie July 2013

All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

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www.fairshop.ie

All proceeds from this ad donated to the Clean Clothes Campaign in aid of Bangladesh Clothing Workers’ Fund

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SPECIAL

Living the LOCKOUT ... new exhibition looks at tenement life in 1913 The Lockout 1913-2013 Commemorative Committee of the Executive Council of Congress have committed to an ambitious programme for the trade union movement to mark the centenary of the 1913 Lockout.  A number of unions along with Congress have contributed funding to support a range of events, most of which will take place between July 2013 and February 2014. One particularly interesting project, Living the Lockout: Tenement Experience, commences on July 1, is being supported by Mandate. Living the Lockout: Tenement  Experience explores the social and economic conditions in early 20th Century Dublin, when tens of thousands of people lived in cramped, insanitary and hazardous conditions – their circumstances dictated entirely by the extent to which they had access to continuous, decent employment.  Living the Lockout makes use of the ground floor of a former tenement house – 14 Henrietta Street in Dublin 1 – to tell the story in an innovative and emotionally engaging way of the impacts of the Lockout as well as portraying what day-to-day life was like in the Dublin’s tenements This is a unique project – which is a joint initiative of Dublin City Council, the 1913 Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Irish Heritage Trust. It will be open to the public six days a week (closed

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on Wednesdays) during July and August 2013.  Tickets – which cost €5 (€3  concession rate for unemployed, OAPs, students and children) –  can be bought at the venue itself or  pre-booked through www.dublin tenementexperience.com Early booking is advised as thousands of visitors are expected over the next couple of months.  The Experience involves drama and exhibition materials, including archival records, photographs and personal testimonies.  visitors will get a chance to gain an understanding of the Lockout and its impact on the people of Dublin’s tenements.  The drama – being staged by the awardwinning ANU Productions – features scenes that capture the heady optimism of the strikers at the beginning of the Lockout in September 1913 as well as the desperation of the families as they faced ruin and possible starvation as the Lockout neared its end in 1914.  It also portrays the heroic determination of the workers and their communities to bring about lasting change in relation to their right to organise themselves in a union and to improve the grim living conditions of the tenements. The Tenement Experience is an event not to be missed.This project has been funded by Dublin City Council as well as trade unions SIPTU, IMPACT, Mandate and the CWU.

‘Our fight in 1913 was about recognition. Fair Shops recognise unions. I’d say that’s progressive’ Health & Safety FETAC Level 5 This course is aimed at Health and Safety representatives Topic covered on course:

Saf e firs ty t at wo r k!

• Health and Safety Legislation • Role of Health and Safety Representative • Safety statements • Role of Health & Safety Authority • Occupational health

• Identification of hazards and risk assessment • Accident investigation • Fire safety • Effective communications • Health and safety promotion

Certification and Progression: Members who successfully complete this course receive a Fetac Level 5 component award certificate and may progress to other courses offered by Mandate. If you are interested in this course, please contact your Mandate official or Mandate's Training Centre at 01-8369699. Email: mandateotc@mandate.ie SHOPFLOOR

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You can go directly to www.fairshop.ie by scanning this code with your smart phone

Adult Education Courses for the Workplace

Picture: Kheel Center, Cornell University (CC BY 2.0)

Mandate Trade Union with the VEC network is offering a programme of Training Courses called Skills for Work. Skills for Work offers members the opportunity to get back into education at their own pace with a wide range of courses to choose from. Each course has 6 – 8 participants and may be held locally and outside of working hours. Some of the courses include:

Communication Skills/ Personal Development and Effectiveness

For those who want to brush up on their writing and spelling skills while you develop personal and interpersonal skills which are important for dealing with workplace situations and improve communications in everyday life situations

Maths

Perhaps you’d like to brush up on your everyday maths, including home budgets, tax and weights/measures.

Communication through Computers

This course is ideal for adults just learning about computers and confidence for communicating online.

Please tick the box or boxes of the courses which interest you and return this form with your details to: Mandate’s Organising and Training Centre Distillery House, Distillery Road, Dublin 3 Phone 01-8369699, email mandateotc@mandate.ie

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Name

Address

Workplace Location Phone

Courses are free and open to members who have not achieved Leaving Certificate or who have an out of date Leaving Certificate. You can also achieve a FETAC Level 3 Award. Skills for Work is funded by the Department of Education & Skills 19


fairshop.ie UP TO 500 LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY LIST OF FAIR SHOPS: Argos Arnotts Boots Brown Thoma s Caulfield’s Su pervalu Clerys Debenhams Heaton’s Hickeys Marks & Spen ce r Penneys Pettitt’s Supe rvalu Shaws Shoe Zone Superquinn Tesco Ireland

Use the location finder on fairshop.Ie to find fair shops in your area

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Shopfloor - Fair Shop Special