Primark staff set to strike

PRIMARK staff in the Abbeycentre branch are to take part in a nationwide strike on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, over a pay dispute.

Shop workers’ union USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) said 88 per cent of members balloted were in favour of the industrial action over the St Patrick’s holiday weekend .

The strike will start at 7am and last to 7pm on both days in all the retailer’s eight stores including the outlet at the Abbeycentre. The union said the strike is the result of Primark’s failure to offer staff a pay rise for the past two years, despite the company making profits of £644 million between September 2009 and September 2011 and sales continuing to increase.

Nicola Scarborough, USDAW Area Organiser said: “In 2010, USDAW members reluctantly agreed to accept a pay freeze, but that decision was taken on the understanding that the company would not expect employees to accept a pay freeze for two years running.

“We have made it clear to Primark that we are still prepared to sit down and negotiate, with help from the Labour Relations Agency if necessary, but the company must be prepared to table a realistic and meaningful pay offer for our members.

“Announcing a four per cent increase in dividends to shareholders last year, the Chairman of Primark’s parent company ABF said that their good results, achieved despite difficult trading conditions, were ‘not delivered by chance but are the consequence of the hard work and enterprise of our employees’.

“USDAW agrees. Our members at Primark are loyal and hardworking and are entitled to expect a fair deal from the company in return.”

Primark was approached for a response, but did not reply.