They’ve Only Gone And Dunnes It


margaret-heffernan-iMargaret Heffernan, Dunnes Stores CEO

Mandate Trade Union report that workers who took part in the strike have been sacked and others have had their hours drastically cut by management at the stores.The union highlighted a case of dismissal less than 24 hours after the strike where a manager told a worker “the business isn’t there” despite workers with less service and who hadn’t been on strike remaining in employment.

Dunnes sacking workers who joined strikes, union says (Newstalk 106-108 FM)

Dunnes Stores Shamefully Sack Workers For Striking (SWP)

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129 thoughts on “They’ve Only Gone And Dunnes It

      1. Waffles

        In that case, they should probably realize that non-skilled jobs such as the jobs in retail are incredibly easy to replace.

          1. Waffle

            [Citation Needed]

            Is it in Irish law?
            Can I walk out of work because I think I deserve to be paid more, and then be protected from being sacked? No?

          2. ionabike

            When using analogies it’s usually helpful that your analogy is in someway analogous to the situation you refer too. I thought everyone knew that ffs

          3. Jess

            Yes its in Irish law. It was also guaranteed under the Lisbon Treaty which was enshrined in Irish law in case you missed that

        1. Aluada

          Since when are jobs in Retail ‘non-skilled’? Retail is a full industry where people develop their careers in. I know people who are highly qualified working in retail today and earning more than a lot of office jobs.

          It is very challenging to be on any customer facing role and you sure need skill for that.

    1. MepMep

      I haven’t done business for years, but doesn’t the Industrial Relations Act confer immunity for strikers? This was a secret balloted Mandate Union strike for trade union member staff – firing them would break the law. Dunnes must be hiding behind lates or something.

      1. gallantman

        I’m sure they’ll just give the ones on zero hour contracts, zero hours. Job done!!

    2. James Dunne

      U fupping idiot .I for one won’t be shopping there for anything ever again. What did they expect u WILLY.

    3. Cora

      Ah maybe the expected to be actually listened to seeb as all other methods of communication between Dunnes & the union have fallen on deaf ears for years

    1. MepMep

      That would be an ecumenical matter. But yes, it’s illegal. Dunnes must be firing people for makey-uppy other reasons (deciding to act on lates, checkout drawer shortages, etc.) to try deter others from striking again.

      1. MajorThrill

        And they’re welcome to take their case to the employee appeals tribunal where they can expect to wait two years before a hearing before demonstrating that they have attempted to minimise the previous employer’s liability (in the form of their lost earnings).

        1. FK

          It’s the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The waiting list is a result of the volume of complaints. Like any court, it’s what you can prove, which is not necessarily always the full story.

      2. Anne

        “checkout drawer shortages”

        I’d be having a very bad shortage at the till if I was given the boot, that’s for sure.
        Hope they rob the place blind.. going forward.

        1. MepMep

          Apparently they’re shoving people around departments – what’s the betting they’ll move strikers to checkouts with a day’s training, let them have a mistake or two and then use it to boot them. Not to mention being moved departments would alter the already unstable hours the workers have. Dunnes are an awful pack of dopes. If I still lived in Ireland I wouldn’t shop there.

        1. Joe the Lion

          Thanks pedey actually someone else mentioned that uncanny likeness there in fact on Monday and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since ;)

  1. Jeff

    The government have no interest in worker’s rights, so the only way to help the Dunnes’ workers is a boycott. It’s not as if the stuff they sell isn’t available in countless other shops around the place. Just don’t go there.

    1. ThePeoplesHero

      Dunno but she certainly has he look of a scaldy old nightmare of a crone….

      Dunnes was always a poxbottle of a supermarket. I despise the place.

    2. rachel

      Why does every article that features a woman have to comment on her appearance? Her actions are disgusting, but let’s not make this a sexist thing.

      1. donkey_kong

        can we not insult her looks? I for one enjoy the petty nature of it ..

        we insult men’s looks too.

        I’ll boycott dunnes too

  2. Adamski

    Hurray! More boycotts. Between this, Topaz, Esso, RTE, and the Indo we’ll start running out of things to do.

  3. CousinJack

    It just gets more and more farcial that it is 100 years since the estaer rising, no one in power gives a shite about the principals of a republic, and certainly not the (albeit french) ideas of equality and fraternity

  4. diddy

    Dunnes couldn’t sack anyone when I worked there back in the 90’s such was the Union protection. Times have changed and a whole generation of young people aren’t even aware that workers have any real rights. From full time permanent to Zero hours in 20 years. Welcome to the future of a “flexible” labour force the front bottoms in charge want in this gloablised economy.

  5. Continuity Jay-Z

    Dunnes will slash the prices on drink and Paddy will be flocking in.

    As the old saying goes if you put an Irishman on a spit you’ll find another to turn him.

          1. B Hewson

            Its when the Paul Galvin’s menswear range comes out that we will see the strike really smashed.

    1. donkey_kong

      I love that saying….and I do fear the booze sale will make people drop their morality

  6. ahjayzis

    This corporate harridan is just BEGGING for a bit of an auld picket outside her sumptuous gaf by the Sinister Fringe.

    1. ahjayzis

      The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

      She has that fire damage from Hansel and Gretel to sort.

  7. Ppads

    Dunnes is the Irish / NI Rail of the supermarket world. We’ll serve you when we get around to it and charge you what we feel like. Is this Mandate victimhood poo for real?

  8. munkifisht

    Refreshing to see BS readers mostly supporting people on the lower end of things for once. Shame they can’t do that for things like the Water protests.

    1. ahjayzis

      Really? I have the impression most broadsheet commentators are broadly anti-Irish Water.

      Don’t fall into the trap of mistaking anything but unconditional support for anything any protester does as being pro-Irish Water. Protesting outside a house with kids in it being one thing I condemn – doesn’t make me Phil Hogans love slave though!

      1. munkifisht

        At least there’s a vocal cohort who constantly refer to peoples social background in a derogatory and bigoted way. I find it quite distracting. Very easy to poke blame at the poor when it’s the rich who should be answering for the ills in our society.

        1. Casey

          Very easy to poke blame at the poor when it’s the rich who should be answering for the ills in our society.

          … Robert Mugabe maintained before he changed the balance of power. Look how that turned out for him. Once the farms of Zimbabwe turned out 70% of the food consumed by the country. Now they turn out 1%. Who knew that fields don’t plough themselves?

          According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the current life expectancy at birth for Zimbabwean men is 37 years and 34 years for women. This was a massive decline from the average life expectancy of 64 years in1990.

          So there are some “Rich People” who are asses and there are some who are not. Just like there are some people who are poor and asses and some who are not but anyone that stands saying “all rich people bad and all poor people good” is an arse.

  9. Lilly

    Ok Margaret, clearly you have no friends or one of them would take you aside and tell you: cut that hair. Tis hideous. You haven’t been 16 for quite some time now so unless mutton dressed as lamb is the look you’re going for, chop chop. You’ll still be a harridan but you’ll be a slightly less ridiculous looking one. That piece of advice will cost you just €1.99.

  10. Iseult

    Fupp ’em
    Delighted to boycott their shoddy crap
    Anyone hear any estimations of custom lost from the strike day?

    1. Lilly

      Since it’s a private company, nothing I imagine would prise that information from them.

      Ultimately it’s looking like Ben will have the last laugh.

  11. Kieran NYC

    All the people who usually take the first opportunity to have a pop at trade unions are awfully quiet today.

  12. Lisa

    No matter where you work you have the right to decent pay and good terms and conditions of employment. I cant believe some people have said the staff should look for work elsewhere. The jobs are not there.

    Dunnes Management are a disgrace. They treat their staff appallingly. There are too many people on zero hour contracts or those that the Dunnes Staff are on and how can the country get back on track when people are struggling.

  13. Peter N

    I wonder what would have happened if mary harney had got her way completely and had all unions banned as representatives of the work force.
    The unions that have saved workers from almost all having zero hours, are the Bus unions /Rail unions, Aer lingus and the few that have stuck with it.
    Irish workers shunned unions and this is the result, zero hours, short contracts or none in some cases, all thanks to politicians working for big business and rich buddies.

    It will have to get worse before people stop and notice and it may well be too late then.

  14. Mark Finnegan

    It would seem that fish and chips isn’t the only thing people will swallow if it’s in newspaper.

  15. deirdre costello

    I don’t have a problem staying out of dunnes for this disgraceful way to treat any person. We hats the union going to do?

    I personally know a person who is working in dunnes almost 11 yrs and still not permanent staff
    How can that be legal? Where’s the union.? Z?

  16. Philip Cunninghaqm

    Most of the time I despair for the future. Why do some people think that treating someone with decency and respect has to be legislated for? I’m all right jack because I wont make a fuss about mistreatment and abuse is just pure ignorance, shallow and unbecoming of mans nobility.

  17. Pat

    They are a disgrace haven’t shopped there in years use aldi or lidl I have no time for that shower

  18. Kingballs

    What a powerful Cougar. And how can I boycott Dunnes? Sure it’s my local supermarket and they do great deals on deodorant. In fact, I’m on my way there now to stock up for the month. Tatty bye plebs.

    1. babihrse

      He calls us plebs despite shopping there.
      Stocking up on premium Dutch gold are you!

      1. Kingballs

        Yes. Plebs. The Dutch Gold is Premium and is the only thing that gets me drunk ok. How dare you judge me ?! Pleb. Have you not got a picket to attend. Tatty Bye.

  19. Lilly

    A few friends and myself have written to Dunnes, enclosing our value club numbers saying we won’t be shopping there again until this is sorted. The address:

    Dunnes Stores
    46-50 South Great George’s St
    Dublin 2

  20. Ciara

    How can anyone agree with this?! They were out for their rights to contracts and fixed hours, how can people working afford to pay a mortgage and raise children when they do not know if they have a job to go to next week! Shame on people who crossed the picket line!

  21. Robert Gtogan

    Sadly this is the way the large companies in Ireland do business today. Workers rights are no more and why do they get away with, because you and me let them. The unions are not worth a shite, their only concerned about their fees, management promote any shop stewards worth their weight and so nothing gets done. The public are all for getting behind the workers so long as it doesn’t hinder of put them out. Ie airport, busses, pastport offices, electricity etc.
    Dunnes won’t get much support why because there are other shops people can go to without putting themselves out to much.
    But what if we all thought like that and next time it’s your husbands job or yours.
    Think again.

  22. Delila

    Boycotting Dunnes will give them a good excuse to sack more workers. They will blame reduced sales to let staff go, when they have the clear out they want they will practically give stuff away to get customers back. Then all they have to do is hire new staff on zero hour contracts who are not in any union. Government needs to protect workers from companies like Dunnes.

    1. Anne

      Let’s all go on a mad Dunnes shopping spree so, is it?

      They need more profits, so they won’t sack more workers.
      Eh.. Wrong.

      I won’t be shopping there anytime soon.. and to think I just bought some candles and new knickers and bras there. I’ll be going elsewhere.

  23. Liam

    Dunnes does not have 0 hour contracts – they never did. You can’t strike over something that doesn’t bloody exist!

  24. Soundings

    Have noticed in my local branch that those who didn’t strike and picket seem to be constantly now working on the tills (they’re black, which fits in with the stories that those who might feel more marginalised and without the support of a big family network were intimidated into working on strike day). This seems to fit in with the narrative that those who didn’t strike were rewarded with more hours, which would correspondingly mean those who did strike were punished with fewer hours.

    I’ve boycotted Dunnes save for their loss leaders in the fruit and veg section (it’s a Mexican night tonight for the family with a feature guacamole after Dunnes were selling avocados at 39c each during the week). If Dunnes do lose revenues and profits, their competitors will expand. We still need stuff 2,000 calories down our gobs each day, whether it comes from Dunnes or Tescos doen’t matter, and Dunnes staff will presumably be happier to work for a better employer which doesn’t treat them like crap.

      1. Soundings

        Didn’t. The back of your Dunnes receipt says that they will generally accept returns in merchantable condition, and it’s arguable Easter eggs aren’t merchantable after Easter (the BBE seems to be around Oct 2015 which would mean they couldn’t be stored until 2016) and if you look at the list of litigation against Dunnes in the courts (80 alone in the High Court in 2014, and that ignores employment tribunals and lower courts), you’ll probably have a fight on your hands if an attempted return is contentious. You’d probably be on safer ground with their non-perishable St Patrick’s day and Christmas stuff (that Irish guy was succesful with Walmart in the US recently, in his protest against Walmart selling arguably-racist St Pat’s tat).

        But I am boycotting Dunnes (save for their loss leaders – certain fruit and veg, some prawns – if anyone knows the other ones why not share them?!).

    1. rotide

      If it doesn’t matter where you get your groceries from, might i suggest finding an mainly irish supplier like SuperValu rather than the UK Tesco?

      1. Soundings

        Given both Supervalu and Tesco employ Irish people in Irish built stores and buy from Irish suppliers and pay Irish commercial rates and Irish corporation tax, then all the country is losing is repatriated profits, which in retail businesses are usually a tiny fraction of sales; given all of that, then I’m not fussy about which alternatives to use instead of scabby Dunnes, to me, Tesco is more appealing, less fusty stores, but I suppose they’re much of a muchness.

  25. butterwouldntmelt

    So funny to see everyone talking abt boycotts topaz esso hilarious its obv not working as they are still going strong and dunnes will survive this too with not a bother on them its hardly tje first time they are In hot water!

    1. Lilly

      Haha you wish Butter. Every Dunnes I’ve looked in lately has been half-empty. Hit em where it hurts. Good article in Times today about Margaret Heiffernan’s pious posturing.

      1. Soundings

        Dunnes put on a sale in housewares last week? Was that expected, or is it just to boost revenues or cash receipts. Thing is with Dunnes, we don’t have public financial information. For a cash critical business, losing a day like the eve to Good Friday could tip you over the edge. They might be fine of course, but interesting to see a 70% off sale last week. Don’t retailers normally start with 50% off?

        Boycotts work. And with better alternatives to Dunnes – seriously why has their “always better value” never been referred to advertising standards? – on every shopping street in the country, boycotting Dunnes doesn’t have to be an inconvenience. I’d echo Lilly’s observation that Dunnes appear to be quiet in the past week, but that’s highly subjective.

        Pompous powdery “doyennes” like Maggie Heffernan won’t survive long in a social media age with their Victorian attitudes towards worker rights,

        Be interesting to see if there’s another strike to coincide with May Day.

  26. Anne

    “I’ve boycotted Dunnes save for their loss leaders in the fruit and veg section (it’s a Mexican night tonight for the family with a feature guacamole after Dunnes were selling avocados at 39c each during the week)”

    Eh, boycott harder

    1. Soundings

      Boycott smarter, if they’re losing money on what you buy from them (and you’re making the store less attractive to those not boycotting because, you know, you’ve bought all the avocados), then surely selective boycotting hurts them more than a traditional total boycott.

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