Date Released: 19 March 2013
SIPTU is supporting a protest this morning (Tuesday, 19th March) by workers at Hassetts Pharmacy, 9-11 North Main Street, Wexford, Co. Wexford. This is the third protest this month at pharmacies which are part of the Uniphar Retail Services Group of 60 stores across the country. Staff protested outside the shop from 11:00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. to highlight their frustration with the management’s refusal to negotiate with their union, SIPTU.
SIPTU Organiser, Graham Macken, said: "SIPTU is organising workers in this pharmacy and the 59 others throughout the country which operate within the Uniphar Retail Services Group. The company has so far refused to recognise SIPTU for collective negotiations and has continued to implement unilateral changes to employees’ terms and conditions.”
He added: “The union has not balloted its members throughout the group of pharmacies for industrial action as yet but a decision will be taken in this regard following a general meeting due to take place next month. This will be held to discuss the outcome of proximity talks with management due to reconvene at the beginning of April in relation to O’Sullivan’s Pharmacy situated in Bantry, Co. Cork.
“The company has continued to unilaterally implement new contracts with an unacceptable clause for ‘change in line with business needs’, which invariably renders any terms and conditions null and void. It continues to make unlawful deductions in wages despite a number of rulings by the Right’s Commissioner that it is in breach of the Payment of Wages Act. The reductions in salary have left some employees literally on the bread line. Some employees have lost in the region of 27% of their pay.
“The company has now started a process of insisting that staff re-apply for their own jobs in an attempt to implement new terms by default. It is simply changing small items in the job description in an effort to justify these alleged new positions.
“However, the company has refused to take part in direct conciliation talks aimed at finding an agreed resolution to issues raised by its staff. This intransigence on the part of management has resulted in the worker’s protest today. SIPTU fully supports the workers and is attending the protest to show solidarity with them.”