Staff at Marks & Spencer, which has a big store in Newbridge, will strike tomorrow, Saturday, December 7 in a dispute over the closure of their pension scheme.
Trade unions Mandate and SIPTU have written to M&S management informing them that thousands of workers will down tool across 17 stores nationally on December 7, 12 and 20.
The company’s management closed the workers’ defined benefit pension scheme without agreement on October 31.
Michael O’Brien from Manade said the closure of a defined benefit pension scheme which was in surplus to the tune of €17 million is a key focus of the dispute.
It has been accompanied by the lack of a Christmas bonus and changes in company structure that will curtail career progression for most staff.
“It is no wonder then that the ballot for action obtained 94% in favour,“he said. This is not a company making a loss but simply reduced profits in the context of the crisis. Not wanting to waste a good crisis they have gone on the attack to restore profit levels by robbing M&S workers of hard won conditions.”
A company statement said “M&S has done all it can to try and move this situation forward so we are extremely disappointed that the company has been given notice that strike action has been called.”