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Biennial Report 2008/09

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Biennial Report 2008/09


Deep n o i s s e Rec Job Losses


tents INTRODUCTION

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SECTION 1

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Industrial Relations Environment Overview

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Industrial Relations Company Specific

SECTION 2 Union Developments

SECTION 3 Training and Education

SECTION 4

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27 27

35 35

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Organising, Recruitment and Campaigns

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APPENDICES

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r e t s i g e R Live 0 0 0 , 0 0 4 s Reache

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INTRO

ction

INTRODUCTION Waking Up and Taking Action We had hardly packed our bags and departed the 2008 Conference in Limerick when the Irish economy imploded. While all world economies were in decline as part of the deep global recession, the likes of which had not been seen since the great depression of the 1930s, the Irish economy fell off the side of an economic cliff. Our economy was built on foundations of straw by a cosy cartel of senior bankers, property developers and politicians who for their own self interest created an unsustainable property bubble which infected every sector of the Irish economy. Their economic vandalism has wreaked havoc with the lives of ordinary working men and women, hundreds of thousands of whom have lost their jobs, thousands facing losing their homes, those on welfare facing cuts to basic rates and those workers still working being targeted for wage cuts. The free market cheerleaders and stock broker economists who rode the wave of the so called boom years are now rallying around their economic and political allies supporting the most sustained attack on workers and workers’ rights, proposing that the poor and most vulnerable take the medicine to cure the bloated gout ridden sectors of our society who gorged themselves at our expense over the last twenty years. While we accept that the Irish economy needs a properly functioning banking sector, it is hard to stomach that the Irish taxpayer is supporting zombie banks and their senior directors and executives to the tune of billions of euros in guaranteeing their deposits, removing their toxic loans and injecting capital. NAMA has the potential to mortgage the future of generations of Irish workers all because of the greed of a few. We have yet to see anybody being held accountable for the vandalism perpetrated on the Irish economy; we are unlikely to see senior bankers and property developers called to account for their actions. Government policies are having a devastating impact on the retail sector; thousands of retail workers are losing their jobs as consumers reduce spending levels because of unemployment, pay and welfare cuts and poor

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consumer confidence. Mandate will endeavour to do everything in our power to support our members’ earning levels and to protect employment in our sector. We will not tolerate employers who attempt to get on the bandwagon and milk the recession by unjustly cutting wages, hours of work and premium rates. We will not support a government which attacks the minimum wage and the operation of the Joint Labour Committees as a means of solving the economic mess. Workers on retail wages and those on the minimum wage did not create the economic mess that Ireland is in and it’s immoral to target them to pay the price. The policies being pursued by the current government are driving the domestic economy into deeper recession with major sectors of employment such as construction and hotels virtually at a standstill and the retail sector in decline. The almost obsessive preoccupation with saving the banks, balancing the national books and the total lack of vision or hope for the future is driving thousands of young people to emigrate. The fact of the matter is that the decisions that matter, the decisions which impact on ordinary workers and their families are taken by the political class. Unless we can influence the political decisions in favour of workers and their families we will always struggle. Unless we can mobilise both at industrial and political level we will remain unable to effect real change in society. If those currently in power are acting against our members and our members’ families’ best interests, then we must ensure that our members are aware of where and with whom their interests lie. In Mandate we are building an organising and campaigning movement, a movement for change; our members will be trained, educated and equipped to fight back at industrial and political level. We are “Waking Up and Taking Action” for a fairer and better way.

John Douglas General Secretary

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Trade Unions Get Active

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Workers Use Their Voice

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sect ION 1 Industrial Relations environment Overview In 2008, year on year sales and profit growth was the norm in the retail sector; inflation was running at 5% and the unemployment figures represented somewhere in the region of just 3.5% of the workforce with nearly 400,000 workers employed in the services sector alone. How things have changed with all of these key indicators now spiralling in the opposite direction. Like workers everywhere – who are least responsible for the economic recession – the impact of this ever changing world on our members has been quite dramatic with many employers (some in great haste it must be said) rushing to the barricades seeking to erode well established terms and conditions of employment which have in most circumstances been fought for and achieved through many years of hard struggle. Such employers solely and conveniently rely on the economic downturn to justify their actions whilst at the same time blatantly disregarding questions as to how they used the significant accumulated profits generated throughout the so called “boom years”. The specific company reports that follow are a clear indication of the challenges being faced at the moment and into the foreseeable future. In every instance we must hold employers accountable for their actions, up to the level of the Labour Court if necessary, in order to ensure that their behaviour is not characterised by opportunism and greed. Instead they must prove that the re-adjustments they are seeking are indisputably essential for the medium to long term interests of their businesses and the jobs associated with them. It is also necessary to make sure where possible that the concessions which are granted now are not set in a permanent fix and that the impacted employment benefits can be restored in line with economic recovery when it happens in the future. This section of the report also demonstrates the efforts to which employers are going to undermine the statutory minimum thresholds provided for low paid workers by the state. Such behaviour must also be resisted as it represents a clear manifestation of a race to the bottom in which public and private sector workers will unquestionably lose.

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At our last conference great emphasis was placed on building Mandate into an organisation which would be seen as “A Union of First Choice” by workers in the retail sector. Central to our plans was a union which would be directed and driven by the members in a manner that ensured their interests would always be to the forefront, an aspiration which is now more essential than desirable. Significant advances have been made in fostering this model over the last number of years with the holding of annual individual company national shop stewards meetings and the subsequent development of elected national negotiating teams now being the norm. The growth and strengthening of this approach is vital if we are to effectively repel the many challenges that lie ahead, particularly from unscrupulous employers. If we do not we will be left exposed and vulnerable to an economic order that has little or no regard to the values of morality, justice, fairness or most importantly social solidarity.

Industrial Relations Company Specific 1 Adams Locations: 60 Members: 61 (Approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – Y. Murphy (Tallaght), M. Costello (Blanchardstown), E. Mooney (Dun Laoghaire) Officials – B. O’Hanlon, D. Moran On December 31 2008 this company went into administration. During this period of administration one hundred and eighteen stores across the U.K. and four stores in Ireland were closed. The four stores here were in Cork and Waterford. The original owner re-invested in the company early in 2009 and discussions commenced with the union on a range of cost cutting measures. In December proposals which included: »» A reduction in working hours »» Flexibility »» Redundancies were accepted by our members.

2 Argos Locations: 36 Members: 366 (Approx) National Negotiating Team Members:

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Activists – P. Hanrahan (Jervis Street), A. Gibson (Jervis Street), M. Finnerty (Limerick), M. Carthy-Byrne (Tallaght), J. Banks (Kilkenny), S. Abbot (Stephens Green), A. Murphy (Stephens Green) Officials – M. Meegan, J. Hogan, K. Wall, K. Pollard Following a company announcement in August 2008 discussions commenced on the realignment of staffing hours and a restructuring of management roles. In depth negotiations took place in September, the areas identified included: »» Change to working patterns »» Reduction in hours »» Redundancies »» Transfer to another store The union requested that the company present details on a store-by-store basis of the current staffing structures, sales details and the proposed new structure. Following a national ballot of Mandate members, the following proposals were accepted in a national count held in October 2009. The proposals included: Voluntary change of contract and compensation Compensation payments varied between €325 and €1050 depending on the degree of change and length of service. Voluntary reduction of hours and compensation Again payments of between twenty weeks’ and forty-five weeks’ compensation was paid depending on the level of reduction and length of service. Redundancy A redundancy package of six weeks’ pay per year of service inclusive of the statutory entitlement. All redundancies were achieved on a voluntary basis. It has now emerged that staff who took redundancy have not received payment for their back-week which was introduced in 2002 when the company changed the method of payment from monthly pay to weekly pay. We are currently awaiting a response from the company.

3 Arnotts Locations: 4 Members: 820 (Approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Mandate members take to the streets to campaign for a better, fairer way.

Activists – E. Slevin (Henry Street), C. O’Reilly (Henry Street), P. Nolan (Henry Street) Official – M. Meegan

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In 2008 Arnotts announced that it would close its Henry Street store for a period of three years in order to allow for the development of the Northern Quarter. They acquired the lease on the Debenhams store in Jervis Street and the Boyers store was to close for a three month period and re-open as a furniture and home accessories store. A problem arose with planning permission and although the company re-submitted their plans, by this stage the construction industry had virtually collapsed. All plans for the Northern Quarter are put on hold until at least 2011. Arnotts has been one of the worst hit companies by the recession due to a very high level of monies borrowed to purchase buildings in both Liffey Street and Abbey Street which were required for the proposed development. In September 2008 the company announced that it was outsourcing its accounts department to the SWS Group with a proposed loss of twenty-five jobs. As a number of these job losses could only be achieved by compulsory redundancy the terms of five weeks pay per year of service were rejected by the members concerned. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and then on to a full hearing of the Labour Court. The Court recommended five and a half weeks’ pay per year of service. This recommendation was rejected by the company. Following the issuing of strike notice on the company they accepted the Labour Court’s recommendation and implemented the terms. The trading situation within the company worsened during 2009 and a further thirty-eight redundancies were sought along with a reduction in full-time employees from one hundred and one to sixty-six, new trading hours and a pay freeze for twelve months. The company implemented these changes without any agreement with either Mandate or SIPTU who represent staff in the warehouse. All issues were referred to the Labour Relations Commission; the hearing was adjourned in order to allow our independent financial advisor to carry out an assessment of the business.

4 Boots Locations: 64 Members: 700 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – J. Walsh (Liffey Valley), A. Edwards (Crescent Shopping Centre), K. Lawlor (Swords), O. Goggin (Douglas) Officials – W. Hamilton, M. Kane, B. O’Hanlon, J. Hogan During the course of 2009 extensive negotiations failed to agree on the introduction of a range of management cost saving measures. Instead of complying with their procedural obligations by agreeing to have all

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BOOTS WORKERS – GETTING UP AND FIGHTING BACK

BOOTS workers are fighting back against attempts by this hugely profitable company to pick their pockets and to smash their terms and conditions of service

Find out the facts in this dispute overleaf… 9833_mandate_boots_leaflet.indd

S BOOT

PILL BITTER IGN CAMPA

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04/11/2009 10:48

Issue Two

BOOTS CAMPAIGN UPDATE shows: BOOTS Alliance 2008/09 Annual Review Trading Profit +11.6% to £953 Million (Sterling)

Revenue +15.5% to £20.5 Billion (Sterling)

for the bosses: BOOTS sugar coated pillAnnual ) Review — International Operations (Figures taken from BOOTS 2008/09

Revenue by country for the year ended 31/March/2009 (£ sterling million)

NORWAY

REP of IRELAND

£338m

£218m

The sugar coated pill for Republic of Ireland represents year on year growth of 18.5%. Higher than their international stronghold Norway — need we say more?

TH

A

BOOTS bitter pill for workers: In the words of BOOTS: “Profits (in Ireland) increased “Excellent growth in dispensing (in Ireland) which was well ahead of the market”

IL A

ND

7m £5

ITALY £23m

NETHERLANDS

£164m RUSSIA £4m

WAGES TERMS & ES CON WTAERGMS &NS DITIONS DITIO CON

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, VOTE YES 22/10/2009 15:58 mandate_boots_issue_2_amended.indd

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GREEDY BOOTS – PROFITS FIRST, WORKERS SECOND What BOOTS Say:

What BOOTS Want to Do:

“We recognise that the success of our Group is a result of the loyalty, passion and drive of our people and greatly appreciate all their efforts. We are highly committed to the wellbeing of our people and wherever we operate seek to be recognised as an employer of choice.”

Cut your wages despite being highly profitable making €20 million profits in Ireland alone. Erode your terms and conditions in the pursuit of even more profits for their owners at the expense of their own loyal workforce.

LOYALTY IS A TWO WAY STREET. Vote YES and tell Boots you wish to work for an ethical company which truly values its workforce.

SURPRISE SURPRISE! BOOTS HAS ENDED ITS COMMITMENT TO INDUSTRY — RECOGNISED ETHICAL TRADING STANDARDS DESIGNED TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM EXPLOITATION AND FORCED LABOUR.

INTERESTING QUOTE: • “They (BOOTS) see business as a one dimensional financial world. It’s not what the consumer wants.” — Peter Williams speaks on behalf of members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) including Oxfam & Christian Aid.

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) was set up 10 years ago after a wave of sweatshops scandal provoked a consumer backlash. It has 52 members including Tesco and Marks & Spencer but BOOTS have pulled out.

How can you help? VOTE YES and

• Distribute this newsletter to all your colleagues today • Explain clearly to your colleagues your unions desire to protect your right to decide your future • Encourage non-members to join your union — together we are stronger • Ask your colleagues to help you organise your store and to prepare for direct collective actions up to and including strike action

Stay in touch with your union at:

boots@mandate.ie Don’t forget to check out regular campaign updates at

www.mandate.ie

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, FIGHT BACK WITH MANDATE mandate_boots_issue_2_amended.indd 2

22/10/2009 15:58

matters in dispute referred to an appropriate third party management refused to so engage and escalated matters further by placing the union on notice of their intention to withdraw from all existing collective agreements, some dating back to 1996. Given that these actions were emanating from a highly profitable business it was not surprising that following appropriate consultation with the national shop steward group and a secret ballot of the members strike notice was served on the company. The intention to strike was backed up with a hard hitting public information campaign utilising measures such as standard press releases, interactive web site initiatives and the distribution of weekly specific dispute newsletters which were distributed directly to the home addresses of our members. Prior to the strike taking place management accepted an invitation to engage at the Labour Relations Commission following which a set of proposals were agreed. Whilst the proposals did contain some retrenchment of established terms and conditions compensatory payments for the loss of same were included in the final proposals. For many the most important element of the dispute was the shape of the future relationship between the union and the company. To this end the Labour Relations Commission proposals created a three month breathing space for the parties to engage in an effort to deal with this matter and negotiations are ongoing in this regard. We will endeavour to build a constructive and meaningful relationship with this employer, but not at any cost. The framework for such must provide that our members are allowed access to measures which allow them proper and genuine recognition not only in respect of their contribution but also appropriate reward from what is now, and likely to be for the foreseeable future, an extremely profitable business. Despite our difficulties it is important to mention that Boots were the only significant player in the retail sector to pay the full terms of the two phases contained in the transitional arrangements of the Towards 2016 national agreement.

5 Brown Thomas Locations: 4 Members: 500 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – J. Gaffney (Grafton St), L. Yourell (Grafton St), T. Coughlan (Limerick), M. O’Connor (Limerick), P. Ward (Galway), J. Clinton (Cork), T. Desmond (Cork) Officials – J. Carty, L. O’Brien, D. Moran In March 2008 a Labour Court hearing initiated by the union took place which subsequently rejected the following union claims and issued a recommendation; Newsletters from the Boots “bitter pill” campaign, and Mandate members protesting during a march in Dublin in November.

»» €1 an hour increase »» Additional 2 days’ annual leave »» Advancement of wage round dates »» Introduction of Christmas bonus 13


The Court recommendation was in turn rejected by the members and further direct discussions took place between the parties. At the beginning of 2009 the employer sought certain cost savings arising from the significant fall off in trading levels. During negotiations it became apparent that the fall off in sales was having a significant impact and in an effort to save the maximum number of jobs on established terms and conditions a set of proposals which contained the following were accepted by the members. »» A 12 month pay freeze »» A 12 month increment freeze »» Some slight modification to trading hours »» A selected number of redundancies Like many other businesses we must now closely monitor the situation going forward to ensure that no further unnecessary concessions occur and that those already granted can be restored within the shortest period of time.

6 Debenhams Locations: 12 Members: 1672 (Approx) Negotiating Committee: Activists – G. Thornhill (Mahon Point), V. Conlon (Patrick Street), J. Rhodes (Blackrock), A. McBride (Tallaght), M. Dignam (Blanchardstown), M. Gavin (Waterford), N. Curran (Galway), R. O’Shea (Tralee), J. Dallman (Limerick), E. Brogan-Morris (Henry Street), J. Crowe (Henry Street), D. Moses (Newbridge), P. Kearney (Ballymount) Officials – B. Higgins, L. O’Brien, B. Dillon, M. Meegan, D. Moran In 2008 Debenhams closed their Jervis Street store; forty-eight full-time equivalent redundancies were sought on a voluntary basis. All remaining staff transferred to Henry Street and an integration payment was agreed, 50% of which was paid on the transfer and the remaining 50% was paid six months later. Again in 2008 agreement was reached with ex Roches Stores staff employed in Henry Street who were paid commission. The agreement replaces commission with a consolidated rate of pay. In 2009 the company sought discussions with the union in order to secure €3.7 million in payroll savings. These savings were to be achieved by a measure of reduction in overtime rates including Sunday premiums, reduction in hours, introduction of monthly pay, closure of staff canteens. As no agreement could be reached all issues were referred to the Labour Relations Commission and then onto a full Court hearing. The Court hearing did not take place on the day as the company had included a number of issues which had not been through the LRC process.

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7 Dublin Airport Authority Locations: 2 Members: 271 (Approx) Negotiating Committee: Activists – M. La Combre (Dublin), J. Kane (Dublin), L. McGrath (Cork), S. Murphy (Cork) Official – B. O’Hanlon In January 2009 the company made a presentation to the Group of Unions in the Dublin Airport Authority and identified the need to enter into immediate discussions on a Cost Recovery Programme due to a downturn in passenger numbers and a decrease in revenue. Retail revenue was down by 20% in 2008. While passenger numbers were down by 15% in 2008 it was expected that there would be a further decline in 2010. Discussions commenced in February 2009 and a headline figure of €40 million of pay roll cost savings was identified by the company. The Group of Unions appointed an independent financial advisor; Mr. Eugene McMahon of Mazars. Negotiations commenced on two fronts; global negotiations which would affect all workers and local negotiations which in our area, retail, meant the introduction of new rosters in the shops with a 4.00am start and a reduction in the number of operatives in the Distribution Centre from thirtythree to twenty. This would be achieved by staff opting to take a voluntary redundancy package or redeployment. Initially the company’s preferred option had been to outsource the Distribution Centre which would give them a saving of €2 million. The global negotiations continued over a number of months. The areas identified, where the saving could be made included the following: »» A  reduction in staffing numbers of two hundred and seventy five fulltime equivalents »» Change to the overtime and sick pay arrangements »» Pay freeze »» Nonpayment of the annual bonus »» Pay cuts As no agreement could be reached, all matters were referred to the Labour Relations Commission and approximately fifteen hearings took place. Proposals are being recommended for acceptance by the Group of Unions and will be balloted on in January 2010. The proposals include: »» T  wo hundred and seventy five full-time equivalent voluntary redundancies »» Overtime rates to be reduced to time and a half Mandate activists and members participating in the “Respect Retail Workers” campaign.

»» Pay freeze until mid 2011 »»

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»» N  onpayment of the annual bonus (this will be reviewed on an ongoing basis) »» Redeployment »» Pay adjustment/contribution The pay adjustment/contribution is based on all earnings; staff earning less than €30,000 will not pay a contribution while staff earning over €30,000 and up to €90,000 will pay contributions ranging from 4.25% up 8.5%. A mechanism for restoration of this contribution has been agreed and verified by our independent financial advisor.

8 Dunnes Stores

DUBLIN EAST SOUTH EAST MIDLANDS NORTH EAST WESTERN SOUTHERN

Locations: 118 Members: 4,100 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – R. Horan (Mullingar), N. Savage (Galway), F. O’Regan (Clonmel), K. O’Donoghue (Cork), A. Craven (Henry St), M. O’Brien (Ennis) Officials – B. Higgins, H. O’Brien, K. Wall Despite the fact that the relationship with this company continues to be far from ideal a number of initiatives have been engaged in order to demonstrate primarily to management that the union is fully committed to effectively representing the interests of our members employed in the business. To this end following the last BDC in 2008 a small working group was formed in order to identify a range of broad issues which were presented on a national basis to senior management for consideration. Needless to say there was no constructive engagement by the company and the issues were ultimately referred by the union to the Labour Court for consideration in April 2009. In keeping with time honoured tradition the company failed to attend the Court, which issued a recommendation in their absence part of which stated. “The Court notes with regret that the Company declined to attend the hearing…” “…The Company/Union Agreement of 1996 was concluded in settlement of a major dispute between the parties. Its clear purpose is to provide a procedural framework within which industrial relations disputes and differences arising between the parties can be resolved by negotiation and dialogue. At its most basic level this requires the parties to meet for the purpose of discussing differences when they arise. This in turn means that where the union requests a meeting to discuss a bona fide difference, at the appropriate stage in the procedure, the other side should respond positively to that request and within the timeframe specified…”

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Materials for Mandate’s “The Difference is We Listen”campaign.


“...The Court urges the parties to engage with each other in accordance with the terms of the 1996 agreement in relation to current and further disputes and differences…” Having regard to the position adopted by the Court it is intended to continue to highlight the unacceptable and dismissive attitude of management towards its workforce and their chosen representatives in dealing with legitimate industrial relations concerns. In order to position ourselves correctly in this regard a series of regional shop stewards’ meetings have just been completed and it is intended to focus our future strategy based on the constructive views and contributions expressed at these meetings. Despite continuing to be an exceptionally profitable business, this employer refused to honour its obligations under the last national wage agreement even though an appropriate claim was served by the union. Other recent matters of significance which the union attempted to deal with were: »» The rumoured sale of the business »» T  he introduction of a voluntary redundancy scheme on statutory terms Our ability to effectively deal with these and other matters clearly depends on building relevant activity which in turn will lead to greater organisational and recruitment capacity in Dunnes. The last two years has seen slow progress in this regard, however our ambition to create a normal industrial relations environment with this employer cannot lessen and to this end we must escalate our collective efforts into the future.

9 Licensed Trade Locations: 320 Members: 792 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – N. Dunphy, D. Fay Officials – E. Cassidy

Mandate activists and members marching in 2009.

The direct impact of the economic recession has resulted in the continuing slide of the pub and general hospitality sector with a consequential decline in participation and membership levels. Ironically even during the good times the trade was seriously impacted upon in a negative fashion through the growth of the practice whereby successful pub businesses were deliberately sent to the wall as part of aggressive property plays in order to maximise a return on the sites on which they were located. Of course many of these property developments never materialised with some undoubtedly now NAMA bound. Alarmingly, since 2007 a total of 833 pubs have not renewed their licences, however the amount of closures has been lesser in the greater Dublin area in comparison to

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the rest of the country. Significantly the number of licences issued for off licences has dramatically increased by 530 during the same period. It is clear that in order to maintain a vibrant and sustainable Licensed Trade Division it is necessary to diversify and follow the trends which have occurred generally within the drinks and hospitality sector. This will not be easy, however, certain alternative opportunities have arisen which must be aggressively pursued, otherwise we ignore at our peril. Existing industrial relations practices within the sector continue to be fragmented with the Licensed Vintners’ Association performing less and less in a central representative capacity thus resulting in the necessity for prolonged and numerous negotiations with individual owners.

10 Lifestyle Sports Locations: 59 Members: 550 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – S. Foran (Dun Laoghaire), J. O’Neill (Bray), D. O’Connor (Crescent Shopping Centre) Officials – J. Donnelly, M. Meegan, D. Moran Since the acquisition of this business in 2005 by the Stafford Holdings Group the relationship with the union and our members has become increasingly problematic. Again as a result of declining sales figures management decided during the course of 2009 to unilaterally introduce a range of cost saving measures which directly impacted on established terms and conditions. These included the imposition of a two year pay freeze, the abolition of the current incremental wage scale and the permanent removal of the long established Christmas bonus. Crucially a single hourly rate of €8.65 (minimum wage) was introduced for all new starters. Furthermore we have recently discovered that the business entity of Lifestyle Sports Limited was changed to Pombury Limited in August 2009 without any reference to our members or indeed the union. Consequent to this development another company was formed into which all new employees were placed who are not being put into union membership. Obviously when combined, these are very serious developments which potentially might lead to an outbreak of industrial unrest however, it is imperative that third party proceedings will have to be exhausted before such an outcome ensues, a route that the union is fully committed to. Make no mistake about it; this is the first example of an employer attempting to engage in an action deliberately designed to effectively de-recognise the union. Accordingly our response must be unequivocal in declaring that such behaviour from this or any other employer will be resisted by whatever legitimate means possible.

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Penneys “Radio

We, the workers of Penneys, are appalled at the unilaterally remove radios from Staff areas in al negative impact on staff morale and has the po relationship between the undersigned loyal em

We urge Penneys to reconsider the decision to the food that feeds our souls! Store Location: Name – Block Capitals

MANDATE Trade Union – June / July 2008


11 Marks and Spencer Locations: 20 Members: 2,400 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – P. Green (Mary Street), L. Walsh (Letterkenny), P. Higgins (Dundrum), M. Horan (Simply Foods), D. Fox (Newbridge), J. McAuliffe (Cork) Officials – B. O’Hanlon, L. O’Brien, C. Clifford, J. Hogan In 2009 agreement was reached with this employer which saw the introduction of a new pay structure. Our members also received the first 3.5% wage increase due under the Towards 2016 national wage agreement. The company is reserving its position in relation to the payment of the second phase 2.5% and the situation should be clearer in this regard in April 2010. Agreement has also been reached in respect of the Union/Company national consultative forums which should result in enhanced levels of participation and worker democracy within the business.

12 Penneys Locations: 44 Members: 3,675 (Approx) Negotiating Committee Team Members: Activists – J. McGouran (Mary Street), G. O’Reilly (O’Connell Street), J. Callan (Dundalk), A. Considine (Limerick)

o GA GA” Petition

e financial decision taken by our employer to ll stores. We believe this decision will have a severe otential to detrimentally affect the long term mployees and the company.

o silence our staff areas and return our music,

Signature

Officials – B. Higgins, M. Meegan, J. Hogan In 2008 radios were removed from all staff areas including canteens, offices and stockrooms as the company did not hold the required licence. Brian Forbes, National Co-ordinator for Organising, Campaigns and Recruitment commenced a campaign which included a petition that was circulated to all stores to be signed by members requesting the company to reinstate the radio; the title of the campaign was “Radio Ga Ga”. We received a huge response back from stores and in advance of a hearing under the auspices of the LRC the radios were reinstated into stores. In 2009 agreement was reached with Penneys which included a 2% pay increase from 1st January 2010 and a further 1.5% increase from 1st June 2010. The union reserves its position regarding the second phase of 2.5%. Further discussions are scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2010. These discussions will encompass issues of concern to both the union and management.

Mandate activists and members campaigning in 2009, and our petition for the Penneys “Radio Ga Ga” campaign.

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13 Permanent Trustee Savings Bank Locations: 60 Members: 500 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – R. O’Malley, E. Kelly Officials – L. O’Brien There can be no doubt that our members on both a personal and professional level employed in the financial services sector experienced the full impact of the economic recession. The uncertainty that continues to surround the future of the Irish banking system represents a real and meaningful threat. Our members working in the PTSB must endure these difficulties and engage daily with customers and members of the public some of whom vent their anger in such a way as to hold the workers responsible for the economic ills of the country when in reality they had no hand, act or part in the creation of the problem. In an effort to fully gauge the effects on our members and to construct appropriate support mechanisms a series of regional members’ meetings took place throughout the country. Notwithstanding these sectoral challenges we were successful in negotiating a two-phase 5% wage increase, the final instalment of which will apply in August 2010. As part of this agreement our members have conceded performance and increment increases until 2011. Whilst the company also gave certain guarantees regarding no compulsory redundancies up to the 31st December 2010, agreement was reached in respect of a limited number of voluntary redundancies which are currently being implemented. Further ongoing discussions are also taking place in relation to the existing profit share and pension schemes.

14 Shaws Department Stores

O TESEC N PROM BROK

Locations: 15 Members: 500 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – L. O’Meara (Limerick), S. Bowe (Portlaoise), P. Geoghegan (Athy), M. O’Toole (Carlow), M. Fitzgerald (Waterford) Officials – B. Dillon, C. Campbell, K. Wall, C. Clifford In March 2009 this employer declared its intention to unilaterally introduce a range of cost saving measures which directly impacted on the terms and conditions enjoyed by our members. As a result of management’s refusal to alter from this course our members decided by way of a secret ballot to place the company on notice of industrial action. Consequentially, matters in dispute were referred to the Labour Relations Commission and the case before the Labour Court is still awaiting final deliberation and decision. Obviously the behaviour of the employer was deemed unacceptable by the members concerned and it is as a direct result of their swift and determined response that matters were

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urts...

H Every Little


somewhat normalised. It is clear that it requires such determination to ensure that employers understand, regardless of the circumstances, that this type of unilateral decree will not be tolerated.

15 Superquinn Locations: 24 Members: 2,800 (approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – G. Kavanagh (Waterford), D. Tyrell (Finglas), T. McNally (Walkinstown), D. Curley (Limerick) Officials – B. O’Hanlon, B. Kelly, D. Miskell

MISES!

.

Like many other retailers the trading situation faced by Superquinn over the past two years has been problematic to the point of it posing a serious and real threat for our members working in the business. It did not help matters that the industrial relations environment reached an all time low during the latter stages of 2008 with management attempting to impose a serious of cost saving measures without reference to the union or our members. The beginning of 2009 saw a shift in attitude from management with a newly appointed human resources team displaying a greater willingness to engage the union in a more meaningful way. Over a number of months negotiations resulted in agreement on a range of measures which were deemed essential for the future survival of the business. Unfortunately this involved 400 voluntary redundancies that included the entire closure of the Dundalk store. Additionally members had to forego annual and incremental wage increases along with their Christmas bonus for a twelve month period. Additional flexibilities were also conceded in respect of established working patterns. In return a banded contract system was introduced which afforded a degree of certainty with regard to the maintenance of weekly earning levels. A defined staff profit sharing scheme was also introduced and uniquely our members secured a 1.5% share in the retail business, in the event of its future sale. Formal work/life balance arrangements were also agreed with the introduction of Term Time and Job Sharing policies. Clearly the agreement represents a model of engagement whereby an employer and workers when faced with serious challenges can effectively combine in a constructive manner to ensure that all can contribute to the future survival of the business. This approach will be supported and strengthened through the formal information and consultation measures like the Joint Consultative Committees structures which were also launched as part of the national agreement between the parties.

Images and printed materials from the Tesco dispute in Douglas, Co. Cork.

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16 Tesco Locations: 146 Members: 12,670 (Approx) National Negotiating Team Members: Activists – C. Moore (Limerick), D. Murphy (Santry), J. Sweeney (Cork), M. Hughes (Monaghan), P. Kennedy (Clearwater), L. Dempsey (Dundrum), D. McKenna (Tullamore), M. Myles (Clondalkin) Officials – B. Higgins, J. Donnelly, M. Meegan, B. O’Hanlon J. Hogan, D. Moran During the period under review (2008 and 2009) a number of issues arose in this employment including the introduction of a new staff handbook without agreement. A unilateral change to the sick pay arrangement regarding social welfare payments; this issue will be the subject of a Labour Court hearing in 2010. The introduction of a new system of managing absenteeism i.e. “Supporting Your Attendance”, again introduced without any discussion or agreement with Mandate Trade Union.

TESCO are forcing workers out of jobs to employ workers on lower rates. Remember Irish Ferries? TESCO are attacking loyal workers in Douglas whilst they announce profits in excess of £3.1 billion sterling. TESCO ignore long standing agreements with Mandate on the transfer of existing staff to a new store.

Every Little Helps... Especially on our Wages! picket_line_leaflet.indd 1

24/04/2009 12:39:49

In April 2009 staff in the Douglas store in Cork voted overwhelmingly for industrial action; this action became necessary when the company refused to allow staff to transfer to the new store on their existing terms and conditions of employment as had been normal practice in any new store opening. Pickets were placed on the store on April 29th 2009. At the request of the Labour Relations Commission the industrial action was suspended that evening to allow for discussions. Two conciliation conferences took place along with a full Labour Court hearing. In June the Labour court recommended that all staff be allowed to transfer to the new store, retaining their current terms and conditions of employment including working patterns. A ballot vote for industrial action again became necessary when the company reduced hours below the agreed bands in nineteen stores across the country. Staff in these stores voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action and notice was served on the company for one day initially i.e. 2 July 2010 followed by a further two days, July 9 and 10. Following discussions with the company strike notice was lifted, the hours were restored to the affected staff and both parties agreed to seek the assistance of the Labour Court. At the time of writing this report we are awaiting a date for this hearing. The company’s response to our claim for payment of the terms of Towards 2016 Review and Transitional Agreement can only be described as opportunistic. Given that Tesco, despite the current economic downturn, remain a very profitable company it is not acceptable that they should use this recession to erode long established terms and conditions of employment in exchange for a pay increase.

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CONNOLLY SHOES PUT THE BOOT IN

SUPPORT THE WORKERS IN CONNOLLY SHOES. PLEASE DON’T PASS OUR PICKET! Workers in Connolly Shoes are on official strike because the company is: • Cutting hours; • Threatening to reduce wages; • Illegally refusing to pay workers who are sick; • Paying workers for three days work despite them working five; • Changing the terms and conditions of employment without agreement; • Refusing to recognise Mandate Trade Union.


At a Labour Relations Commission hearing held in November 2009 the company put forward a range of cost saving measures which were rejected by the union. As per the terms of “Towards 2016” an assessor was appointed to examine the position of the company. A short time after the hearing at the LRC the employer group, IBEC, and the Government withdrew from the pay terms of “Towards 2016”. All employers including Tesco have been advised by IBEC to withdraw from any discussions relating to this agreement.

17 Miscellaneous

17.1 Angelique Jewellers

Due to reorganisation in this business which operates as a concession in the Brown Thomas stores a number of our members left their employment on agreed voluntary redundancy terms. We the undersigned deplore the attempts by TESCO to force workers in Douglas, Cork out of jobs to employ workers on lower rates whilst TESCO PLC announce profits of in excess of £3.1 Billion sterling. We condemn the fact that TESCO are ignoring long standing agreements with Mandate Trade Union on the transfer of staff to a new store. We call on TESCO to immediately cease their attack on existing contracts of loyal workers and act honorably by recognizing all existing agreements with Mandate Trade Union, locally and nationally.

17.2 Arcadia

Staff in Arcadia received the first phase of Towards 2016 Review and Transitional Agreement on its due date. The company however said that it is not in a position to pay the second phase due to a down turn in sales. The non payment of this pay increase along with a unilateral change to the uniform allowance without agreement will be the subject of a conciliation conference at the Labour Relations Commission in March 2010.

Please return this petition to: Brian Forbes, National Coordinator – Organising, Campaigning and Recruitment Organising and Training Centre, Distillery House, Distillery Road, Dublin 3. OR alternatively hand deliver to your shop steward. SEE OVERLEAF FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CAMPAIGN >

Nine former employees of Wallis Switzers had an entitlement to an attendance related bonus. In November the company announced that they were discontinuing this bonus and would compensate staff with a one and a half times buy-out. This issue has been referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a hearing will take place in March 2010.

17.3 Bests Menswear

Following a secret ballot our members in this employment accepted a 10% wage reduction in order to deflect the impact of falling sales. The situation is to be monitored and reviewed on a timely basis.

17.4 Bolands (Arklow)

Our members in this employment were forced to engage in industrial action in response to their employer’s attempt to unilaterally introduce cost saving measures which were detrimental to their established terms and conditions. The matters in dispute were resolved following local discussions. More printed materials from the dispute at Tesco Douglas, and, bottom, leaflet supporting the workers of Connolly Shoes.

17.5 Caulfields

In response to a claim for payment of Towards 2016 Review and Transitional Agreement the company sought a meeting with us in April 2009. At this meeting the company tabled a number of cost saving proposals which were required by the business. They included; a pay

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freeze, non-payment of increments, non-payment of Christmas bonus, flexibility across stores and a reduction in overtime and premium rates. At the time of writing this report the company has delayed an LRC hearing which was convened in an effort to resolve the above.

17.6 Connolly Shoes (Dun Laoghaire)

In response to their employer’s attempt to unilaterally introduce a range of detrimental cost saving measures our members engaged in a number of one-day strikes. Following local discussions the matters in dispute were resolved to the satisfaction of the members concerned.

17.7 Hickeys Fabrics and Home Focus

A reduction in working hours was sought on a store-by-store basis by the company. This was done on a voluntary basis. The company also pleaded inability to pay the Christmas Bonus in 2009. We are awaiting a Labour Relations Commission hearing to discuss this issue.

17.8 Horse Racing Ireland

Similar to the difficulties being encountered in The Turf Club our members are being asked to consider a reduction in certain terms and conditions. However, unlike the Turf Club management here not only see the benefits but are willing to engage the union in a constructive process in order to ensure an orderly outcome. Negotiations are continuing in this regard.

17.9 Principles

This company owned by Mosaic went into liquidation in March 2009. The seven stand-alone outlets were closed with immediate effect and the concessions trading in both Debenhams and Shaws closed within the next week. Principles employed approximately two hundred and fifty staff in its Irish stores.

17.10 Sasha

An examiner was appointed to this company by the High Court in December 2008. A number of interested investors were identified by the Examiner. Unfortunately with a continuing decline in the retail market and an unwillingness to re-negotiate rents by landlords, Sasha went into liquidation in March 2009 with a loss of approximately three hundred jobs.

17.11 Shoe Studio

In August 2009 Shoe Studio Ireland Limited closed its eight concession outlets located in various Debenhams stores with the loss of 41 jobs. Given that the business is owned by the profitable Dune Group it was decided to fight for more than the statutory redundancy terms offered by the employer. The matter is awaiting a hearing before the Labour Court.

17.12 The Turf Club

Due to a decline in statutory funding management decided to unilaterally impose a range of cost saving measures some of which negatively impacted on our members’ existing terms and conditions

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of employment. Largely due to the manner in which management behaved the members decided to vote for industrial action. The matters in dispute are currently before the Labour Relations Commission for consideration.

17.13 Viyella

This concession within Arnotts went into liquidation in January 2009 with a loss of six jobs. All outstanding payments including redundancy and minimum notice monies had to be claimed from the Insolvency Fund.

17.14 Whistles Boutique

Due to reorganisation in this business which operates as a concession in the Brown Thomas stores a number of our members left their employment on agreed voluntary redundancy terms.

18 Joint Labour Committee (JLC’s) & Registered Employment Agreements (REA’s) The minimum statutory terms and conditions provided for by the JLC and REA structures came under a prolonged and concerted attack from employers which was spearheaded by IBEC. Not only were they dissatisfied with the various terms granted to workers, they also broadened their approach by undermining this type of regulation arguing that it had no place in the modern work environment and that it should be abolished in its entirety. Along with the other union members on the various JLC and REA committees, Mandate representatives strongly and successfully resisted such a proposition. It is our considered view that these mechanisms are more necessary during times of economic stagnation in order to ensure that a threshold of decency is maintained which protects the living standards of workers who are amongst the lowest paid in our society.

19 Statutory Minimum Wage

Mandate members take to the streets to campaign for a better, fairer way.

Similar to the approach adopted in the case of JLC’s and REA’s employers also took the opportunity to seek the reduction of the current statutory minimum wage; some employers even had the audacity to call for its total removal. Again such an attitude clearly displays and arrogance and disregard by employers in attempting to disproportionately and unfairly load the burden on to workers who can least afford to pay. The, sometimes emotive, debate which surrounds this issue conveniently fails to recognise the fact that many of the workers concerned work part time and are not guaranteed weekly hours. Currently, statistics show that 116,000 or 6.6% of all Irish workers live below the poverty line. In turn the working poor constitute 24% of all those living in poverty and 40% of all households in poverty. Clearly any attempt to reduce these low pay levels further will only deepen their poverty and draw even more workers into the poverty trap. Our representatives, particularly at the level of the ICTU, will continue to strenuously fight against these unjustified attacks on working families in order to ensure that making work pay is a fundamental part of the social and economic model which evolves from the current recession. 25


Social Solidarity

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ti o n c e S

2

2.0 union developments 2.1 Organising and Training Centre (OTC) The OTC on Distillery Road was badly damaged following flooding. This resulted in the Centre closing for a number of months and training courses diverted to hotels and head office. The Centre is now totally reinstated to its original standard and an insurance settlement was agreed with the union’s insurers. Therefore, we were delighted that Uachtarán Na hEíreann, Mary McAleese was able to perform the official opening of the Centre in 2009.

2.2 Letterkenny Resource Centre We have taken some space in the Letterkenny Resource Centre as a technological hub for the North and West Division. Because of the remoteness of the division we were experiencing server difficulties in accessing broadband and hence accessing our data bases. The Centre provides a technological connection to all our systems.

2.3 New Joint Union Centre Discussions on the feasibility of Mandate and the Communications Workers’ Union developing a shared purpose built trade union centre replacing both existing unions’ head offices in Dublin took place during 2009. A small sub-committee of the National Executive Council has been working on the plan and an initial planning application was lodged with Dublin City Council. Further investigations into the financial viability of such a plan are ongoing and no final decision has been made to date. Suffice to say that a new shared centre would give us economies of scale and facilities which are lacking in the current head office.

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2.4 Cork and Limerick Offices Refurbishment works were completed in both offices.

2.5 Transfer of Engagement Discussions were held between Mandate and the Sales and Marketing Administrative Union of Ireland on the question of a transfer of engagements to Mandate. We are happy to report that both unions have agreed terms for the transfer and the SMAUI members will be balloting on the transfer early 2010 to take effect in March 2010. If approved this will see over five hundred members of the SMAUI transfer into Mandate Trade Union. We welcome our new members and assure them that they will form an important part of Mandate into the future.

2.6 Communications 2.6.1 Mandate has invested heavily in our communications systems, we completed a total revamp and the launch of a new website together with a new-look Mandate News. We also have a Mandate presence on Facebook and Twitter. Our Midas Information system has allowed us to keep in contact with members and activists through SMS texts and email. All of the above communications’ channels are proving a valuable tool in our political and industrial campaigns. 2.6.2 New Logo Mandate invested in a new logo and branding following on from the success of the reaction to the branding of the Organising and Training Centre.

2.7 Rules Review Committee and Structures 2.7.1 The Rules Committee met on a number of occasions to refine the union rule book following major changes adopted at the 2008 Biennial Delegate Conference. The Rules Committee worked closely with the National Executive Council on all questions regarding rules. 2.7.2 New Divisional Structures The National Executive Council decided to create four (4) new divisions – North and West, Midlands, North Eastern and the Western Division. Also, during the period under review new local and regional structures were put in place following the adoption of the new rule book at the 2008 Biennial Delegate Conference.

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2.8 Irish Congress of Trade Unions 2.8.1 ICTU Biennial Conference July 2009 A large Mandate Delegation attended and fully participated in the ICTU Conference in Tralee. Mandate put two motions to the floor of Conference both of which were carried by delegates. The General Secretary John Douglas and Assistant General Secretary Linda Tanham were returned to the Executive Council of the ICTU. 2.8.2 ICTU Executive Council Mandate continues to play a very active role in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. The General Secretary John Douglas was elected to the General Purposes Committee and our officials play a vital role on numerous sub-committees of Congress. Assistant General Secretary Linda Tanham has been appointed as the ICTU nominee to the Boards of NERA and the Equality Authority. 2.8.3 Get Up Stand Up Campaign Mandate fully supported the ICTU Get Up Stand Up Campaign through finance and the active support of officials, activists and members who turned out in large numbers on the streets of cities throughout Ireland to register their protest at the government’s handling of the economy and the targeting of the most vulnerable in society for cut backs and withdrawal of services.

2.9 International 2.9.1 Union Network International (UNI) This is the umbrella group representing nearly 900 commerce and service unions worldwide. It has an affiliation of nearly 20 million workers and speaks with authority on issues affecting commerce, financial and communications unions around the globe. The General Secretary John Douglas was elected to the World Board of UNI. 2.9.2 Global Alliance and Agreements UNI has created a number of Global Union Alliances to facilitate the co-ordination of union activities and recruitment of workers in Global multinational companies. These alliances assist unions in various countries by sharing information on global companies and highlighting the very different approaches to trade unions often adopted by multinational companies in different countries. Mandate Trade Union plays a key role in the Tesco Global Alliance.

The new Mandate Logo; Mandate facebook page; Mandate website.

UNI also facilitates the signing of global agreements with multinational companies covering issues such as freedom of association and corporate responsibility issues. In 2009 UNI signed such an agreement with Indetex – the owners of Zara and Pull and Bear.

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2.9.3 UNI World Commerce Conference Dublin 2009 Mandate helped facilitate the hosting of the UNI World Commerce Conference in Dublin in 2009. Unions representing retail workers from all over the world met in Dublin over two days to discuss issues and develop strategies for dealing with the world retail sector such as casualisation, opening hours, recruitment etc. 2.9.4 UNI World Youth Conference A large number of Mandate activists attended the UNI Youth Conference in Berlin, Germany 2009. The Mandate delegation was lead by Industrial Officer Jonathan Hogan and World UNI Youth President, Mandate Industrial Officer Keith Pollard. 2.9.5 ICTU Global Solidarity School A Large delegation from Mandate Trade Union attended the Global Solidarity School in Waterford organised by the ICTU. Mandate delegates contributed to all debates and activities. 2.9.6 Conflict Resolution Project, Belgium Mandate National Executive members and staff took part in a highly successful training and awareness programme on conflict resolution. The project involved a visit to First World War Grave sites and battle fields in Belgium. 2.9.7 Anti Apartheid Strike Dunnes Stores The government of South Africa decided to honour the Dunnes Stores strikers by laying a special commemorative plaque outside Dunnes Stores, Henry Street, Dublin, on the site of the historic struggle by Mandate (IDATU) members against the apartheid regime in South Africa.

2.10 Legal 2.10.1 Mandate Legal Aid Scheme Mandate Legal Aid Scheme continues to offer free access to all Mandate members to legal advice and representation in matters relating to their employment and in particular personal injuries claims. The scheme has secured millions in compensation for injuries resulting from unsafe working environments. 2.10.2 High Court Actions Two High Court actions are pending against Mandate resulting from a dispute between a number of staff in our Waterford office.

Ní neart go cur le chéile Presented by Mandate Trade Union • UNI Commerce World Conference • Dublin 2009

mandate_ltd_ed_poster_chosen.indd 1

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22/09/2009 14:29


2.11 Staff Matters 2.11.1 Mr. Dan O’Malley, Industrial Officer, Southern Division resigned in order to pursue another career. 2.11.2 Helen Connolly, administrative staff member, Dublin, retired and we wish Helen good health and a happy and active retirement. 2.11.3 Keith Pollard was appointed Industrial Officer assigned to the Dublin South and Wicklow Division. Keith replaced Caroline Degraeve Kane who resigned to return to her previous position in the public service. 2.11.4 Darren Delaney, Lisa Farrell and Bernadette Grogan were appointed as Organisers. 2.11.5 Salary Negotiations Staff did not receive salary increases under the Towards 2016 Transitional Agreement – the matter is ongoing. 2.11.6 Staff Pension Fund The Union operates a contributory staff pension scheme for all qualifying employees. The Scheme Actuary has certified that the scheme is not on track to meet the agreed funding proposal as submitted to the Pensions Board. Discussions with Staff, Trustees and the Employer (Mandate) are ongoing with a view to maintaining pension coverage for all our employees into the future. 2.11.7 The National Executive Council which was endorsed by the 2008 Biennial Delegate Conference carried out all its functions, responsibilities and obligations in accordance with the rules of Mandate Trade Union and was compliant with all legal and Revenue obligations placed upon it. 2.11.8 Interview Boards The National Executive Council selected a standing interview board comprising of National Executive Council members and senior officials as required. The National Executive Council also arranged appropriate training for the board on all aspects of interviewing including their obligations with regard to equality legislation. The National Executive Council would like to record its appreciation to all board members.

The commemorative plaque laid outside Dunnes Stores, Henry Street, honouring the struggle by Mandate (IDATU) members against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Poster given to attendees of the UNI Conference.

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2.11.9 Sub Committee of National Executive Council The National Executive Council elected the following standing subcommittee at its first meeting following the 2008 Biennial Delegate Conference: Sub Committee Joan Gaffney

President

Mary Larkin

Vice-President

Liam O’Meara

Treasurer

Sean Bowe

Trustee

Helen Griffin

Trustee

Declan Murphy

Trustee

Margaret G. Cronin

Member

Lorna Dempsey

Member

Joseph McGouran

Member

Teresa McNally

Member

Gerard Thornhill

Member

2.11.10 National Finance Committee In addition to the Officers of the union, the National Executive Council elected the following members to serve on the National Finance Committee: Finance Committee Joan Gaffney

President

Mary Larkin

Vice-President

Liam O’Meara

Treasurer

Sean Bowe

Trustee

Helen Griffin

Trustee

Declan Murphy

Trustee

Denise Curran

Member

Lorna Dempsey

Member

Frances O’Regan

Member

2.11.11 Staff Relations Committee In addition to the President of the union, the National Executive Council elected the following members to serve on the Staff Relations Committee:

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Mary Larkin, Helen Griffin, Declan Murphy, Noel Dunphy, Frances O’Regan


Low-income families hit hardest

33


President Opens New Training Centre


e S ction

3

training and education Training and Development Since the opening of the Mandate Organising and Training Centre (OTC) in January 2008 a wide range of relevant and diverse courses have been delivered on a national basis to members and staff. Many courses are delivered at times and in patterns that suit our members’ working lives and availability. The Union Representative Introductory Course is a basic shop stewards course of three days’ duration. The Union Representative Advanced Course is for three days, with the option of additional hours which can lead to a FETAC Level 5 award. In the main, companies will only give paid release for training as per the terms of a collective agreement for shop stewards’ courses and also for health and safety training as per the terms of Health and Safety legislation. Mandate has offered training in additional areas such as Information Technology, Communications, Business English and Personal Development. A significant number of Mandate members have recognised the value of up-skilling and training and avail of this training in their own time. Courses are free of charge to members as funding has been sourced through government agencies. The delivery of high quality courses draws on a wide a range of experienced trainers and practitioners from the relevant areas of change management, industrial relations, information technology, employment law and media/communications. Where possible FÁS registered trainers are engaged. As Mandate’s teaching methodology is student centred the courses are designed to support and facilitate learning. These teaching methods aim to involve learners in their learning through small group work, case studies and role play exercises to assist them in the transfer of their learning to their day to day work in the union or in their working lives.

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This encourages the learner’s active participation in local union roles and also raises the profile of Mandate Trade Union in their workplace. Between January 2008 and December 2009 over 1,200 members and all Mandate staff have received training. The following 148 courses have been delivered; National Executive Council, Shop Stewards and Activists

Dublin Courses

External Courses

Introductory Union Representative courses

10

13

Advanced Union Representative Course in

6

2

NEC Effective Communications

1

Strategic targeting and Recruitment

1

1

Building Activism using IT

2

1

Information Technology FETAC level 3

20

15

Information Technology FETAC level 4

4

4

Communications FETAC level 4

1

Communications FETAC level 5

1

1

Train the Trainer FETAC level 6

1

Basic English FETAC Level 3

2

Business English FETAC Level 4

1

Personal Development

2

3

Equality Training

1

2

Health and Safety course ICTU, FETAC level 5

2

Pensions, ICTU

1

Union Learning Course, ICTU

2

3

HETAC Cert in Business/Trade Union Studies, ICTU

2

Disability Champions Course, ICTU

2

Social Media

2

Union Matters workshop

1

Stress Management

1

Administration Staff

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CAMPAIGN. RECRUIT. ORGANISE. TRAIN.

RECRUIT. TRAIN. oRgANIsE. CAmpAIgN.


Midas and SharePoint

1

Information Technology

1

Porter Manual Handling

1

Officials

ORGANISE. RECRUIT. TRAIN. CAmpAIGN.

Skills for Organising

1

1

Enhancing Equality and Diversity

1

1

Midas and SharePoint

1

Understanding the Social and Economic Environment

1

1

Information Technology

1

Effective Presentation Skills

1

Mentoring and Coaching

1

Organising, campaigns and recruitment (UNITE)

1

Midas and SharePoint

1

Leadership into the future

1

Skills for Organising

1

Understanding the Social and Economic Environment

1

Midas and SharePoint

1

Information Technology

1

Tesco

5

5

Marks and Spencer

4

Superquinn

4

1

Organisers

Management Team www.mandate

TRAIN. REcRuIT. oRgANIsE. cAmpAIgN.

Partnership Training

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The Organising and Training Centre was flooded on the 9 August 08. The premises were severely damaged so training could not be held there until the 12 January 2009. However no training courses were cancelled as arrangements were made and all scheduled courses transferred to other locations including the main hall in O’Lehane House. A number of the Union Representative Courses were company specific shop stewards’ courses. Partnership training for the Company/Union forum structures is ongoing for Tesco, M&S and Superquinn. The training is jointly delivered to both management and members by Mandate and representatives from the relevant company.

ORGANISE CAMPAIGN TRAIN RECRUIT

In 2008 and 2009 Mandate secured funding from FÁS for the design and delivery of two pilot training projects the “Vision 2 Change” and the “Achieving Our Vision” programmes. During both programmes 144 participants attended courses. These projects enabled Mandate to train activists, officials and administration staff. It also resourced the examination of progression routes for members who have successfully completed accredited courses. In the pursuit of this objective, meetings have been held with a number of third level institutions and education providers to agree relevant progression routes. The funding allowed for Mandate’s application to FETAC for the OTC to become a FETAC accredited centre. Mandate was successful in its application in November 2008 and was presented with a FETAC Quality Assurance Agreement in June 2009. Mandate can now facilitate and process FETAC courses internally for our organisation and also for external training organisations. Over 400 Mandate members have received FETAC Awards. For some this is the first National Framework Award that they have achieved since they left school.

ORGANISING FOR SUCCESS “Organising is just a fancy word for relationship building” Ernesto Cortes, Co-founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation

Thirty Mandate members who successfully completed the first Mandate FETAC accredited courses were presented with their FETAC Certificates, at the official opening of the OTC, in the presence of the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, on the 21 September 2009. The occasion was attended by representatives of the NEC, Mandate members, FETAC, FÁS, ICTU, Trade Unions and the local community. Mandate now has 12 members who are trained as Trainers and have commenced delivering training sessions during the Union Representative Introductory training courses. The Women at Work Skillnet is a collaboration of five unions, Mandate, CWU, IBOA, INMO and Impact. The unions work together to design and deliver relevant training to trade union members, in the members’ own time. These courses have been very successful with Mandate availing of over 300 training days for members. Our members have attended a wide variety of interesting courses across the country and also in the OTC.

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Developing an Organising model is about finding ways that activists can be more confident in handling day to day workplace issues with less need to call on Officials for issues such as grievances and disciplinary procedures. We want members to be active and to take an interest in Mandate rather than just seeing us as a glorified insurance scheme. The new Organising model will be centered on talent spotting new activists and empowering our members to have the collective strength and solidarity to resolve their issues as a unified group of workers. Mandates new Organising model will be co-ordinated by the Organising and Training Centre and it will endeavor to place the emphasis on activists and their self development. Building an activist based Organising and Campaigning Trade Union is a simple idea which is neither radical, revolutionary nor impossible but essential in building sustainable structures in and between workplaces with activists and workers at the centre of everything we do.

Participants in a workshop at the new Mandate Organising & Training Centre


Mandate works alongside ICTU and offers the Congress programme of courses to members. Congress is currently training Union Learning Representatives who, following relevant training, will discuss training with their work colleagues. A number of Mandate members have trained as Congress Union Learning Representatives and are identifying training needs for our members in their workplace. The funding for the FÁS “Skills for Work” programme was passed to the VEC in 2009. Mandate has built up a network with the VEC co-ordinators. In November 2009, Mandate members commenced computer courses at FETAC Level 3 and communications courses at FETAC Level 3 in their local VEC premises. There are 18 of these courses with an agreed progression route if members wish to avail of further up skilling and development.

It is planned to have the following training courses available to Activists: •

Skills for organising, [campaigning/organising/mapping]

Computer Training Basic and Advanced Skills

Union Representative Introductory and Advanced Courses

In the course of 2009 the economic environment lead to a marked reduction in training funding from FÁS and other State bodies. Mandate is actively pursuing funding for training in an effort to continue to offer free high quality training to our members.

Training for Health and Safety Representatives

Tutor Training

Personal effectiveness

Union and workplace participation

Communication Skills

A training plan outlining courses which will be delivered in 2008 is available in this folder.

Mandate wishes to acknowledge and thank FÁS and FETAC for their funding, assistance and guidance over the past two years. Thanks also to the Employers who support training with paid release. Many thanks to Margaret Nolan (the “Vision” Project Manager) and the trainers who encourage members to reach their full potential. Thanks to the NEC, the Management and staff of Mandate as the success of the Organising and Training Centre is a measure of the commitment that you have shown to our members and to the advancement of Mandate’s Strategic Review.

Booklet promoting the Mandate Organising & Training Centre.

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Jobless rat e up to 12.4%

o t A M A N s k n a b t u bail o


Se ct ION 4 ORGANISING, RECRUITMENT AND CAMPAIGNS Organising and Recruitment Developing a Mandate Retail Organising Model As part of Mandate’s commitment towards developing a fit for purpose Irish retail organising model Brian Forbes, National Coordinator, liaised extensively with a wide range of leading organising unions and in doing so attended the following events and conferences: »» Welsh TUC Organising Conference 12 February 2008 »» Advanced Organising Course 27 – 30 May 2008 Geneva Switzerland »» Unite London – meeting with senior organisers 22 January 2009 »» UFCW New Organiser Training Washington 22 – 27 February 2009 »» Unite – Meeting senior Organisers in Liverpool 04 – 05 August 2009 »» Organising Forum Brussels 06 – 08 October 2009 A feature of the learning and development process was the visit by the National Coordinator, to the UFCW in Washington, USA. As part of his visit Brian assisted UFCW organisers in their Wal-Mart Organising campaign. He conducted house visits with a UFCW organiser and experienced at first hand the real life stories of Wal-Mart employees. Unfortunately, many of the workers in Wal-Mart relayed experiences strikingly similar to those experienced by many of our members working for some of the worst Irish retail employers. Given the frightening similarities the interaction with the UFCW was extremely useful and many of the experiences gained during the visit will assist Mandate in developing its organising approach into the future. Excellent relations have been established with many Irish and international organising unions including SIPTU, Unite, Unionen, Handels, UFCW and the Communication Workers’ Union and a great deal of experience and knowledge of their organising experiences were imparted

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to Mandate which have been invaluable in assisting our organising endeavours over a relatively short period of time. Divisional Action Plans (DAP)

MANDATE N Issue 2, Spring 2009

To focus on the important task of organising and recruitment, four key employments were identified that would require proactive organising initiatives and a strategic planning process enabling us to achieve increased power and influence, and in doing so, the development of a best practice model of organising for use across the retail sector. The four selected core workplaces were: »» Tesco »» Marks and Spencer »» Boots »» Dunnes Stores In order to organise effectively, taking into account the servicing culture, each Division was tasked with preparing and developing a DAP for organising and recruitment within their respective areas. Key objectives in each DAP were:

MANDATE VINDICATED BY COURT RECOMMENDATION TESCO, DOUGLAS DISPUTE

www.mandate.ie | email: mandate@mont

»» Increase levels of union density (recruitment) »» Increase activism (mapping activists and workplaces)

Is

»» E  stablish a well balanced mix of experienced and new activists across a variety of working patterns including weekend and night shift workers »» E  stablish local and regional council structures and encourage activity in same »» Develop local and contribute to national campaigns »» Develop improved divisional communication structures All divisions completed a written report and the DAPs were subject to ongoing appraisal and monitoring. The establishment and delivery of the DAPs has been a difficult but worthwhile process and will continue to be developed and improved over time. National Organising Department In June 2009, Mandate initiated the establishment of a small dedicated team of issue based union organisers to concentrate efforts in areas of relatively low or no union density. Three organisers were initially employed, namely Darren Delaney, Bernadette Grogan and Lisa Farrell. As part of Mandate’s ongoing commitment to working alongside other like-minded organising unions the three organisers trained in the Unite Training Academy in Eastbourne, England from 1 June – 5 June 2009 inclusive. In order to pursue other career options Bernadette Grogan tendered her resignation effective from 11 September 2009 and as part of Mandate’s ongoing cooperation with other unions Martin Mannion, SIPTU Organiser,

42

Mandate w to all our Me www.mandate.ie |


joined the Mandate Organising Department to lend experience for a period of three months. Mandate Organisers in November 2009 also availed of SIPTU Organiser Training tailored for one-to-one organising with a view to establishing house calling as a feature of the organising campaigns outlined below.

NEWS

The strategy to establish the stand alone organising department was focussed exclusively on committing the adequate time, resources and efforts into organising new and existing members and up to the period of the report focused on the following employments: H&M This company was strategically selected and organisers began an issue based organising campaign by identifying workers and attempting to establish contacts and leaders.

Y LABOUR N IN THE P14

MANDATE NEWS

taguecomms.ie

During the course of this campaign, Brian Forbes, National Coordinator and Linda Tanham, Assistant General Secretary, met the company 17 – 19 September 2009 with a view to establishing a future productive and professional relationship with H&M. Alke Boessinger from UNI Commerce and our sister union USDAW accompanied Mandate and a joint presentation was made by both unions which was well received by the company. Follow up correspondence was issued to the company and a formal response is awaited.

ssue 3, Spring 2010

Six H&M locations in Dublin were targeted (Swords, Ilac Centre, Dundrum, Liffey Valley, South King Street and Blanchardstown) and progress has been made in three of the identified sites. A series of meetings took place both with workers and also with a small number of Mandate members on a number of the sites. A range of issues were identified including work associated with the delivery of crates and in particular the unfair expectations by management for workers to unload the crates, staying behind after rostered hours without pay and the condescending attitude of managers. Organisers continued to work closely with workers and members on their issues and the campaign in H&M continues. IKEA

wishes a happy new year eMbers and their faMilies email: mandate@montaguecomms

.ie

IKEA opened its doors on Monday, 27 July 2009 in Ballymun, Dublin and one Organiser commenced initial contact with workers in September 2009. A feature of this campaign was the apparent anti-union stance adopted by Irish IKEA management. Initially, due to a number of contributory factors, momentum on this campaign was measured. However, up to the date of the annual report, issues were beginning to surface and additional resources are likely to be directed to this particular campaign.

Issues 2 and 3 of Mandate News

In the short period of this campaign, a range of workers’ issues have emerged including the relatively low rates of pay, fixed term nature of

43


contracts, reduction in hours without agreement and the poor attitude of some managers. Organisers have also met community groups in Ballymun and spoke with the job centre and a local workers’ resource group. Letters were also issued to over 250 mandate members living in the vicinity of the Ballymun IKEA site seeking assistance in identifying workers, however, this initiative proved unsuccessful. Organisers mapping the workplace have managed to secure a significant number of employee names which will be of advantage to the organising campaign as it develops. Organisers are also working closely with Mandate’s Dublin North Division in identifying workers employed by IKEA in Ballymun and also by analysing workers’ contracts, handbooks and terms and conditions of service in comparison to unionised employments with more favourable conditions. Brian Forbes, National Coordinator has developed close links with our European sister unions Unionen and Handels who deal with IKEA and who have developed a sound working relationship with the company. Issues in relation to IKEA Ireland’s refusal to engage with Mandate and the lack of transparency in the elections for a workers’ representative to the European Works Council (EWC) have been raised by our colleagues on the EWC and this remains a significant focus into the future. It has been reported that IKEA are currently in discussions with UNI Global on the terms of a Global Union Agreement. The leading unions in discussion with the company are Unionen and Handels and correspondence has been forwarded to UNI seeking to be kept informed of any future development which has been agreed by UNI. Social and Industrial Campaigning Mandate over the course of the period of the Biennial Report fundamentally changed its campaigning approach both in the industrial relations environment and also in campaigns reflecting our social justice agenda and the important role Mandate has in Irish society. Mandate’s work on campaigns included Respect Retail Workers, The Poor Can’t Pay as well as industrial campaigns such as Penneys’ “Radio Ga Ga”, Boots’ “Bitter Pill” and the Tesco “Every Little Hurts” campaigns which all embraced new technologies and for the first time featured Facebook and Twitter pages as part of the campaigning arm of the union. Mandate campaigned using a range of merchandise including using innovative viral ecards, campaign newsletters, campaign leaflets, hard copy petitions, t-shirts, badges and a range of internet campaigning tools. A feature of our industrial relations campaigns was the close working and interaction between Linda Tanham and Gerry Light Assistant General Secretaries and Brian Forbes National Campaigns Coordinator. All campaigns were analysed prior to commencement and were subject

44

Mandate Union. The Union of First Choice for Retail and Bar workers.


HOW THE POOR WERE MADE TO PAY An analysis of the impact of the December 2009 Budget

to ongoing monitoring and evaluation to determine their effectiveness. Regular communications meetings were held and a determination to focus on providing clear channels of communications to and from our members featured prominently in the National Campaigns. Decent Income Campaign As part of Mandate’s social and political campaigning two pieces of independent research were commissioned entitled End Low Pay and Milking the Recession. The End Low Pay author Camille Loftus’s research found that there is a growing inequality in Irish society facilitated by an ever widening pay gap between lower and higher paid workers and this research was launched by John Douglas at a well attended media event in Dublin on 2 July 2008. Milking the Recession was a natural follow-on from the End Low Pay Report and author Paul Daly clearly showed that lower paid workers and their families fared badly in terms of income and wealth distribution during the so-called boom years. The report further highlighted the many profitable employers who continue to milk the recession by cutting wages and conditions, by reducing hours and by attempting to force through phoney redundancies so as to increase their profits. The Poor Can’t Pay Mandate is a founding member of The Poor Can’t Pay Campaign. This is a civil society campaign that believes those earning the minimum wage or living on social welfare are not responsible for the economic crisis Ireland found itself subjected to. Mandate played a leading role in the formation of the coalition and continues to promote the campaign to show the Government that they can’t attack the poor with impunity. Respect Retail Workers Mandate launched its hugely successful Respect Retail Workers campaign on 8 December 2008 following extensive research to establish the extent of retail abuse and violence in Ireland. Having established this issue as a serious concern and a major cause of stress for a large proportion of our members, Mandate commenced a large scale campaign to create awareness with the aim of improving the working lives of retail workers throughout Ireland.

Mandate Publications, clockwise from top left: Milking the Recession; How The Poor Were Made To Pay; Respect Retail Workers; End Low Pay. Bottom: Launch of The Poor Can’t Pay at Dáil Eireann.

A research booklet entitled ‘Voices in Retail’ was issued which pointed a damning and frightening picture of the current Irish retail sector and many hundreds of ordinary retail workers contributed to this body of work. An identify for the campaign was developed and accompanying posters, leaflets, badges and t-shirts helped deliver the clear and resounding message that abuse is not part of the job.

45


Stage 1 of the campaign saw regional launches take place in a variety of locations throughout the country including Dublin, Cork, Letterkenny, Mayo, Sligo, Waterford, Mallow and Limerick. Mandate activists attended and participated enthusiastically in the campaign launches and assisted in heightening the public profile of the campaign. All leading employers were issued with a Respect Retail Workers’ Charter which sets out minimum objectives, commitments and undertakings by those employers towards securing a safer working environment for their staff, our members. Shamefully, no positive response has been forthcoming from any employer. Following the publication of ‘Voices in Retail’ many politicians from a variety of political parties responded directly to Mandate offering support and assistance in furtherance of the aims and objectives of the campaign. In raising the campaign profile, Brian Forbes, National Coordinator, attended an EPSU Third Party Violence Conference 1 – 2 July 2009 during which he delivered a presentation to the conference on the ongoing work being carried out by Mandate in the field of third party violence at work. Get Up Stand Up – For a Better Fairer Way The Irish Congress of Trade Unions initiated this campaign to bring about change in how Government responds to the social and economic crisis we face in Ireland. Two national demonstrations the first of which occurred on 12 February 2009 in Dublin and the second on 6 November 2009 in seven locations across the country saw tens of thousands of protestors take to the streets of seven major towns and cities across the country. Mandate members the length and breadth of the country came out in their hundreds to support the call for a Better Fairer Way and to challenge the Government’s inaction on plans to protect jobs or to create new employment. New Mandate banners, flags and whistles were the feature of the day on 6 November 2009 and many hundreds of Mandate members supported their Boots colleagues by wearing the Boots’ campaign t-shirts. The Mandate activists were amongst the most colourful and certainly the loudest groups of members on the marches in November 2009 and this bore further testimony to the fact that as a campaigning union Mandate has proactively and significantly changed during the period of this annual report.

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Governme n t must face reality

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s n o i n U e d Tra r e h t e g o T March

d n e f e d e t a d n Ma s t h g i r ’ s r e k r wo 48


EN D ICES p p A

appendix 1 Membership of National Executive Council elected at Biennial Delegate Conference 2008 President

Gaffney

Joan

Vice-President

Larkin

Mary

Treasurer

O'Meara

Liam

Trustee

Bowe

Sean

Trustee

Griffin

Helen

Trustee

Murphy

Declan

Atkinson

Pamela

Delaney

Darren

Fox

Kay

Kearns

Phyllis

McGouran

Joe

O'Dwyer

Margaret

Dempsey

Lorna

Lang

Ciaran

McNally

Teresa

Quinn

Joe

Dunphy

Noel

Fay

Dermot

Members Dublin Distributive & Administrative Division

Dublin Grocery Division

Licensed Trade Division

49


North Eastern Division

Finnegan

Dessie

Mid West Division

Battles

Gerard

Finnerty

Mary

Kavanagh

Gerard

O'Regan

Frances

Roche

Frances

Cronin

Margaret G.

Sweeney

Jason

Thornhill

Gerry

Curran

Denise

Meaney

Anthony

Savage

Noel

Dublin Distributive Division

Motherway

Elizabeth

Mid Western Division

O’Brien

Mary

Dublin Grocery Division

Rooke

Peter

Roberts

Owen

Reilly

Kenneth

South Eastern Division

Southern Division

Western Division

Standing Orders Committee 2008 – 2010

50


appendix 2 Attendance 2008 – 2010 NFC

NEC

Number

Present

Number

Present

Atkinson

Pamela

N/A

N/A

16

8

Battles

Gerry

N/A

N/A

16

15

Bowe

Sean

17

13

16

12

Cronin

Margaret G.

N/A

N/A

16

9

Curran

Denise

17

12

16

11

Delaney

Darren (resigned 28.06.09)

N/A

N/A

16

7

Dempsey

Lorna

17

8

16

8

Dunphy

Noel

N/A

N/A

16

15

Fay

Dermot

N/A

N/A

16

15

Finnegan

Dessie

N/A

N/A

16

13

Finnerty

Mary

N/A

N/A

16

15

Fox

Kay (career break)

N/A

N/A

16

1

Gaffney

Joan

17

17

16

16

Griffin

Helen

17

17

16

16

Kavanagh

Gerard

N/A

N/A

16

9

Kearns

Phyllis

N/A

N/A

16

13

Lang

Ciaran

N/A

N/A

16

15

Larkin

Mary

17

12

16

11

McGouran

Joe

N/A

N/A

16

9

McNally

Teresa

N/A

N/A

16

13

Meaney

Anthony

N/A

N/A

16

15

Murphy

Declan

17

12

16

12

O’Dwyer

Margaret

N/A

N/A

16

14

O’Meara

Liam

17

16

16

15

O’Regan

Frances

17

13

16

13

Quinn

Joe

N/A

N/A

16

16

Roche

Frances

N/A

N/A

16

8

Savage

Noel

N/A

N/A

16

15

Sweeney

Jason

N/A

N/A

16

10

Thornhill

Gerry

N/A

N/A

16

13

Willie

N/A

N/A

12

11

Staff Representative Hamilton

51


appendix 3 Affiliations Amnesty International Athlone Council of Trade Unions Ballina & District Council of Trade Unions Bray & District Council of Trade Unions Carlow Council of Trade Unions Castlebar & District Council of Trade Unions Clare Council of Trade Unions Clonmel Trades and Labour Council Cork Council of Trade Unions Dublin Council of Trade Unions Dundalk Trades Council Galway Council of Trade Unions International Centre for Trade Union Rights Irish Congress of Trade Unions Irish Labour History Society Kildare Council of Trade Unions Kilkenny Trades Council Killarney Trades Council Letterkenny & District Trade Union Council Limerick Council of Trade Unions Meath Trades Council National Women’s Council of Ireland People’s College Sligo Trades Council UNI Europa and UNI Waterford Council of Trade Unions Wexford Council of Trade Unions

52


appendix 4 Mandate Staff at 31 December 2009 General Secretary

Douglas

John

Assistant General Secretaries

Light

Gerry

Tanham

Linda

National Co-Ordinator for Campaigns & Recruitment

Forbes

Brian

National Co-Ordinator for Training & Development

Morrissey

Aileen

Divisional Organisers

Campbell

Ciaran

Galway

Carty

John

Galway

Cassidy

Eddie

Dillon

Betty

Donnelly

Joe

Hamilton

Willie

Higgins

Brian

Kane

Mandy

Kelly

Bill

Meegan

Michael

O’Brien

Harry

O’Brien

Lorraine

O’Hanlon

Brendan

Clifford

Caroline

Hogan

Jonathan

Moran

David

Miskell

David

Pollard

Keith

Wall

Karen

Industrial Officers

Waterford

Limerick

Waterford

Cork

Cork

53


Anderson

Barbara

Brosnan

Linda

Browne

Sandra

Bruton

Audrey

Costine

Veronica

Curran

Ann

Cyranowicz

Izabela

Dempsey

Anne

Hobbs

Peggie

Gaffney

Terri

Maguire

Ciara

Maguire

Louise

Murnane

Anne-Marie

O’Connell

Deirdre

Cork

O’Riordan

Joan

Cork

O’Rourke

Margie

O’Sullivan

Rebecca

Elizabeth

Ryan

Twomey

Catherine

Cork

Walsh

Marese

Galway

Porter

Wogan

Martin

Organisers

Delaney

Darren

Farrell

Lisa

Mannion

Martin

Administrative Staff

54

Limerick

Waterford

Waterford


appendix 5 Membership at 31 December 2009 Dublin North Division

4372

Dublin North West Division

4534

Dublin South and Wicklow Division

3295

Dublin South West Division

2930

Licensed Trade Division

797

Mid West Division

2680

Midlands Division

2497

North Eastern Division

1950

North & West Division

1869

South East Division

4209

Southern Division

5442

Western Division

1687

Head Office

904

37166

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appendix 6 List of Delegate Conferences since formation of Mandate Trade Union Hereunder are set out the names of the presiding Chairperson, General Treasurer, General Secretary and venue of each delegate conference since the formation of Mandate. Year

Chairperson

General Treasurer

General Secretary

Venue

1995

Doreen O’Keefe

Mandy Kane

Owen Nulty

Limerick

1996

Patricia Gaffney

Mandy Kane

Owen Nulty

Cork

1997

Patricia Gaffney

Mandy Kane

Owen Nulty

Waterford

1998

Patricia Gaffney

Liam O’Meara

Owen Nulty

Dublin

2000

Patricia Gaffney

Liam O’Meara

Owen Nulty

Galway

2002

Mary Larkin

Liam O’Meara

Owen Nulty

Tralee

2004

Mary Larkin

Liam O’Meara

Owen Nulty

Ennis

2006

Karen Wall

Liam O’Meara

John Douglas

Killarney

2008

Joan Gaffney

Liam O’Meara

John Douglas

Limerick

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appendix 7 Motions Actioned From 2008 Biennial Delegate Conference Union Affairs 1 Recruit, Organise and Campaign The National Executive Council and this Conference is committed to the continued transformation of Mandate Trade Union into the leading, organising and campaigning Union in Ireland. Conference notes the progress since we last met and is committed to the allocation of necessary resources to continue the project of implementation of the Strategic Plan. Specifically, Conference endorses the following action headings: »» Recruitment: Mandate embarks on a vigorous, resourced and targeted campaign aimed at achieving the following: – One hundred percent membership levels in employments which are currently unionised. – Significant membership levels in employments which are currently not unionised. »» Organising: Through training and communications, Mandate will develop and support an activist structure in every employment and from this activist base launch the new Mandate. »» Campaigning: Commit the necessary resources to effectively campaign on economic, social and political issues of importance to Mandate members and their families. National Executive Council Action Mandate Trade Union continues to commit significant resources to developing an activist based, organising and campaigning union. Specifically a new Organising and Recruitment Team has been established working under the direction of the National Co-Ordinator for Campaigns and Organising. This team has begun to target large greenfield sites with a view to organising workers in these employments. Over 600 shop stewards, activists and members have been trained in various locations throughout the country and the aim of the training is to develop the individual members into trade union activists who in turn will recruit, support and encourage new and existing members at local level. Mandate also embarked on a number of high profile campaigns to protect our members and their families against unfair attack from employers and government. The campaigns included Respect Retail Workers, End Low Pay, Milking the Recession, The Poor Can’t Pay and various industrial targeted campaigns such as those in Boots “Bitter Pill” and Tesco “Every little Helps”. Mandate is also heavily involved in the ICTU “Get Up, Stand Up” campaign for a fairer better way. We have tried and tested new and innovate communications and campaigning tools, we have fine tuned many and we now have a new weapon in our armoury to protect members and the most vulnerable in society.

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2 Biennial Delegate Conference 2008 Conference acknowledges the level of resources which have been allocated to beginning the process of transforming Mandate Trade Union into the “Union of First Choice” since our last conference. This Conference is committed to the continued allocation of resources in accordance with our strategic review, to create a campaigning and organising culture based on activists. Therefore, the Conference supports an increase in membership subscription of 30 cent as and from 1 January 2009 to help fund the continued transformation programme. National Executive Council Action This motion called for an increase in union contributions to finance the continued development of Mandate. The resources delivered by the 30 cent increase in subscriptions have been put to effective use in support of the members and the creation of a campaigning union.

Industrial Relations 3 Compassionate Leave That paid compassionate leave is extended to embrace the grieving family and that compassionate leave is introduced to all employments.

Licensed Trade Division Action Motion 3 Compassionate Leave has been pursued where possible given the constraints of national agreements and the prevailing economic climate.

4 Eleven (11) Hour Rest Period Conference calls on the incoming National Executive Council to pursue a vigorous campaign in relation to the enforcement of the compensatory rest periods and rest breaks i.e. eleven (11) hour rest period. Killarney Branch Action This issue was raised at ICTU level and was discussed at NERA with regard to information and enforcement.

5 Annual Leave That a complaint be made through our membership of ICTU with regard to the low standard of annual leave and Public Holidays at present in Ireland in comparison with standards in other countries.

Licensed Trade Division Action This matter was raised at ICTU level and formed part of the discussion on Towards 2016 – no progress was possible at these discussions and the issue remains on the agenda.

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6 Working Hours Navan Branch calls on the National Executive Council to use a publicity campaign, together with an industrial relations policy to achieve agreement with employers to have the pattern of hours for retail workers operate in a humane and acceptable way that would give retail workers the opportunity to organise their domestic, social and family commitments in the same way as the majority of Irish workers can. Navan Branch Action Mandate negotiators have raised the issue of decent contracts of employment at all negotiations with employers. We have had some success with regard to the banding of hours and minimum contract hours’ thresholds. We have had less success regarding social and family friendly commitments but these issues continue to be on our agenda.

7. National Pay Rounds Conference calls on the incoming National Executive Council to look for higher pay increases on the living wage as opposed to artificial levels set by “Towards 2016�. Killarney Branch Action This was raised at discussions on the Towards 2016 National Agreement. Following the collapse of the National Wage Agreement the decent living wage agenda now falls to Mandate to pursue with individual employers in a free collective bargaining environment.

8 Expenses That a meeting be sought by Mandate Trade Union with the Department of finance to balance the uneven and unacceptable position of not being able to reclaim work related expenses as is the case in practise in other sectors.

Licensed Trade Division Action Ongoing work on this motion.

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9 Trade Union Recognition Mandate Trade Union develops a strategy to further the advancement of Trade Union recognition by adopting the following approaches: 1 Private sector employees are offered the same union facilities as operated in the public sector 2 That the Equality Legislation is amended to include trade union membership as one of the grounds on which it is illegal to discriminate

3 The Irish Government to comply with the United Nations Charter of Human Rights regarding Trade Union Membership

4 That ICTU/Mandate forms a lobby group to address these issues at European Union Commission level with a time frame not exceeding the next Biennial Delegate Conference. Licensed Trade Division Action This motion formed part of the wider ICTU agenda on Trade Union Recognition and was a central part of discussions on Towards 2016. A review of the Industrial Relations Act 2001/2004 was agreed during these talks but as yet no positive outcome has been possible on this matter.

10 Code of Practice – Bullying in the Workplace That this Biennial Delegate Conference calls

A on the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment to amend the “Code of Practice detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace” to include a clause whereby those who make false and vexatious allegations of bullying are subject to severe disciplinary action.

B That policies on bullying as negotiated between Mandate and employers will henceforth contain such a clause and that existing policies with employers be amended accordingly.

C That internal Mandate policies contain such a clause. Wexford Branch Action Ongoing work on this motion. Mandate has agreed a comprehensive set of policies and procedures with staff, including a dignity at work policy on bullying in the workplace.

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Health Issues 11 Two Tier Health System Dundalk Branch calls on Conference to condemn the continued right wing policy being pursued by the Fianna Fail/Green Party lead coalition for a two tier health system. Dundalk Branch Action Ongoing work on this motion. Mandate has been active through our involvement in the ICTU and our participation on marches throughout the country regarding health cut backs and the two tiered health system.

Standing Orders Report No. 3 Motions, 12, 13 and 14 become Comprehensive Motion No. 1 to be moved by the Letterkenny Branch Comprehensive Motion No. 1. – Cancer Care Motions 12 (Killarney), 13 (Galway) and 14 (Letterkenny) Conference condemns the Irish Government’s current policy on cancer care. Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to use all in its means to lobby the Irish Government to commit to a cancer care programme that: 1 Gives due recognition and attention to the disproportionate lack of cancer care facilities in the North West as compared to other parts of the country 2 The provision of local counselling services for Mandate members that have been misdiagnosed as opposed to travelling long distances for such services 3 That all hospitals – private or public – undertaking breast care facilities have in place a Breast Cancer Pathologist specialising in breast cancers and that two Breast Cancer Pathologists read the same biopsy as early detections are vital. Action Mandate has continued to lobby government regarding the health service, in particular the class and geographical barriers to accessing health care. Conference is asked to note that the allocation of government resources on health care and other public services is a matter for the government of the day. It cannot be expected that the lobbying of right wing governments by trade unions will deliver any real political change in the fair allocation of resources or access to services. Therefore, Conference is asked to further note that to effect real change in society and a fairer allocation of resources for all that the most powerful political lobby is the casting of one’s vote in a general election.

Social Issues 15 Trading Ethics That this Biennial Delegate Conference calls on the National Executive Council to establish a working party to engage with employers particularly those in the Drapery and Footwear Trade in relation to their trading ethics and the fact that the sourcing of some of their products leads to the sweatshop conditions endured by workers in the production of such goods. Dungarvan Branch

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16 Child Labour Recognising that the there are over 200 million child labourers in the world today, this Biennial Delegate Conference instructs the National Executive Council to offer its full support to the Irish Task Force against Child Labour in its efforts to eliminate this fundamental breach of human rights at work and to end the appalling exploitation and suffering of child labourers. Dungarvan Branch Motions 15 and 16 Action Mandate has a small working party which has been working with the ICTU Solidarity Committee in meeting major Irish and multinational retailers regarding ethical standards in sourcing products. Mandate was also involved in the Decent Work Week and we participated in a number of events around ethical trading. We are also committed to assisting in the establishment of an Irish Branch of the Clean Clothes Campaign.

17 Social Economical Policy – North West Conference notes with concern the current Irish Government’s continuous failures in addressing the socio-economic needs of the North West. The lack of proactive and positive investment in counties such as Donegal is an indictment on a government that has presided over an untold wealth for the last 10-15 years, and has willingly failed to demonstrate a wealth distribution that proves for proper affordable public transport, free accessible healthcare, employment security, affordable and accessible housing and so on and so forth. Donegal can rightfully boast the highest unemployment, the minimal of public transport, the isolated healthcare provision and the least of affordable housing provision. Donegal is the Irish Governments’ performance black mark. Conference instructs the incoming National Executive Council to support, press and lobby wherever and whenever it can, those of influence, e.g. the ICTU, Government Ministers, Councillors, Political Parties, Press etc., to forcefully address this current unacceptable anomaly. Letterkenny Branch Action Mandate has continued to lobby government regarding the health service, in particular the class and geographical barriers to accessing health care. Conference is asked to note that the allocation of government resources on health care and other public services is a matter for the government of the day. It cannot be expected that the lobbying of right wing governments by trade unions will deliver any real political change in the fair allocation of resources or access to services. Therefore, Conference is asked to further note that to effect real change in society and a fairer allocation of resources for all that the most powerful political lobby is the casting of one’s vote in a general election.

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European Issues Standing Orders Report No. 3 18 and 19 was composited into Composite Motion No. 1. and moved by the Galway Branch European Lisbon Treaty Motion 18 (Galway) and 19 (Letterkenny) Conference notes that arising out of the rejection by the people of France and the Netherlands of the EU constitution, it is now renamed as the Reform Treaty or the Lisbon Treaty. Complexity in wording has replaced relative simplicity as this repacked proposal does not now attempt to replace the earlier EU treaties. It is further argued that the new proposal will not require referendums in as many of the various member states as the original treaty because of the new wording. Conference also notes that the Charter of Fundamental Rights, including workers’ rights would not be fundamental at all but could be varied or restricted in the interest of a ‘common organisation of the market’ or to advance ‘objectives of general interest pursued by the Community’. In other words so called fundamental rights may be subject to the principles of the forces of free market globalisation. Conference therefore calls on the National Executive Council prior to the forthcoming referendum to: 1 Provide the members of Mandate with as much information as reasonable practicable so they can make an informed decision on how this new treaty will affect workers in Ireland and their families. 2 Make the necessary arrangements for informed debate at all levels of the union. 3 Use our influence at all levels of the ICTU to initiate similar informed debate across all levels of the Irish Trade Union movement. 4 Call on the ICTU Executive Council to convene a Special Delegate Conference to democratically determine a position of the ICTU on this treaty’. Action Mandate produced and distributed an information leaflet on the Lisbon Treaty and participated in debates at all levels of the union movement. The treaty was subsequently passed in a referendum of the people.

Miscellaneous 20 Re-internment of Eamonn Ceannt Conference calls on the incoming National Executive Council to publicly and politically pursue to seek the full re-internment with state honours of proclamation signatory Eamonn Ceannt from Cork Jail to St. Finbar’s Cemetery Cork. Killarney Branch This motion was ruled out of order.

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, p U g n i Wak n o i t c A g Takin

64


65


s s e n i s Bu ures s o l C

Job Losses

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Mandate Biennial Report 2008/9