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(en) Ireland, WSM* Workers Solidarity #91 - Joanne Wins: We All Win; Wal Mart: Cut Price Employees? by Joe King

Date Sun, 09 Apr 2006 11:08:27 +0300

Joanne Wins: We All Win
Friday February 24th saw one of Ireland's biggest and most anti-union firms
back down. Dunnes Stores wrote to sacked shop steward, Joanne Delaney telling
her that she had been reinstated in her job at theAshleaf Shopping Centre in Dublin.
Joanne had been sacked for wearing her MANDATE union badge. Management
thought they would put the boot in at a store where only a minority are union
members. They got a surprise. A local support group formed and held regular
protests outside Ashleaf. Letters and emails of protest flooded in, solidarity
protests were held at other Dunnes branches. There was a growing threat
of some of their customers doing their weekly shop elsewhere.

Joanne was very courageous in standing
her ground. The protests organised
by the local support group and the
socialist & anarchist organisations did
make a difference. It's a small victory
but one that shows if we dare to fight,
we also dare to win.

Joanne thanks all who supported
her. She said "it was the support and
solidarity of fellow trade unionists
who organised protests throughout
the country, and shoppers who use
the Ashleaf outlet, who by wearing
a Mandate stick-on badge and
complaining to management, have
done so much to bring this situation

Joanne was back at work on Monday
February 27th with her union badge
pinned to her uniform.
The Executive of MANDATE has
agreed "to pursue the idea the idea of a
National Wear Your Union Badge Day
throughout Dunnes Stores outlets".
This should be followed up and tied
into a union recruitment campaign.

Wal Mart: Cut Price Employees? by Joe King

The supermarket giant Asda, a subsidiary of Wal-
Mart, has recently taken over 12 Safeway stores in
Northern Ireland. It has also been ordered to pay
£850,000 in compensation to staff at their huge
distribution centre at Washington in the north east
of England.

340 employees had been offered a once-off 10%
pay increase if they agreed to give up a bargaining
agreement enjoyed by their union, the GMB.
The workers overwhelmingly rejected the offer and
subsequently took industrial action that won a 5 %
pay increase. In addition an employment tribunal
ordered the company to pay £2,500 a head in com-

Our unions leave a lot to be desired, but even a bad
union is better than no union. If unions are no use
anymore, as some will tell us, why do the bosses try
so hard to break them?

From Workers Solidarity 91, March/April 2006
PDF file online at http://www.struggle.ws/pdfs/ws/
* Anarchist federation
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