Lloyds Pharmacy workers are set to continue striking for the foreseeable future, with a further nine strike dates announced.
Mandate Trade Union, which is representing more than 200 Lloyds workers who are taking part in a strike over pay scales and zero-hour contracts, have said more than 40 stores will take part in industrial action next Monday, September 3 and Tuesday, September 4, and again in October and November.
Workers in Lloyds Pharmacy’s Artane store in Artane Castle have revealed that they’ve been forced to protest on the roundabout outside the shopping centre their store is located in, as centre management won’t allow them to protest inside.
David Gibney from Mandate told Dublin Gazette that they initially contacted Lloyds Pharmacy in February 2017 with several requests which the company originally agreed to, before changing its mind.
He said: “They [Lloyds] formed their own worker representative group within the company after we contacted them, but staff said that they wanted to be represented by a trade union. Before they had union representation, staff had sick pay and other benefits taken or reduced.”
In April, the Labour Court recommended that management of Lloyds Pharmacy communicate with Mandate as their worker’s representatives. However, Mandate have said that the management have “refused to accept” this recommendation.
Stores including Ballyfermot, Artane, Drumcondra, Finglas, Glasnevin, Raheny, Stoneybatter and Kilbarrack will all be taking part in the strike action next Monday and Tuesday.
Strike action has also been announced in October, from Monday 1 to Wednesday 3, and again in November, from Thursday 1 to Saturday 3, and on Monday, November 5.
In response to Dublin Gazette’s queries, a Lloyds Pharmacy statement read: “The Labour Court’s recommendation was a non-binding recommendation.
“[We work] closely with the vast majority of our staff, as represented by the Colleague Representative Committee, and worked out a wide range of pay and conditions improvements to address concerns.
“This was a very robust negotiation process and has been passed by a majority of staff in two separate ballots, so we know we are making very good progress … so we can grow and invest further in the business.
“Lloyds Pharmacy do not have, and have never had, zero hour contracts with our staff.”