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Lord Mayor calls on Dubliners to spend their money where workers count

15 Feb 2014

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Oisin Quinn, this week called on Dubliners to spend their money in Fair Shops. He made his statement at the launch of the Dublin Fair Shop campaign as he urged consumers in the city to shop in retail stores where workers’ rights are respected.

The launch took place in Buswells Hotel, and the Lord Mayor was joined in launching the campaign by John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary and President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).

David Moran, Mandate's Divisional Organiser in Dublin explained that a Fair Shop employer is one that recognises their employees’ basic right to join a union and also very importantly recognises the right to full collective bargaining representation.”

Across the country designated Fair Shops include Argos, Arnotts, Boots, Brown Thomas, Caulfield’s Supervalu, Clerys, Debenhams, Heaton's, Hickeys, Marks & Spencer, Penneys, Pettitt's Supervalu, Shaws, Shoe Zone, Superquinn and Tesco Ireland.

Mr Moran said, “In Dublin city there are dozens of Fair Shop employers and we are asking local consumers to shop with them because they respect their workers right to be represented by their union for collective bargaining purposes.

By doing so, consumers are making a choice to support quality employment in the Irish retail sector and promoting the agenda of decent work. We are also encouraging all consumers to take two minutes to pledge their support for the campaign and a worker’s right to have a voice in their workplace by signing the Fair Shop pledge.”

Mr Moran said the key driving force behind the Fair Shop initiative is the smartphone compatible website www.fairshop.ie which runs regular Fair Shop promotions, features a list of Fair Shop employers and supporters and hosts a Fair Shop location finder. He then went on to explain the background to the Fair Shop initiative.

“In recent years, there have been increasing assaults on workers’ rights, pay and conditions of service by many unscrupulous employers. This reality has been further fostered through the employer-driven legal challenge to have the Joint Labour Committees (JLC’s) and the Registered Employment Agreements (REA’s) deemed unconstitutional,” he said.

“These employers have sought to gain an unfair and financial advantage over those competitors that do respect their employees’ entitlements. This approach needs to be challenged across the retail sector by the spending power of thousands of ethically-minded consumers.

“Our use of this collective and individual consumer power has the very real potential to improve conditions for workers across the retail sector and Fair Shop provides the basic information required to make those ethical purchasing decisions.”

John Douglas said that the Fair Shop campaign was particularly significant this year as his union challenges the ‘job at any cost’ approach seeping into Irish society.

“If you are a worker and you contribute to a business’s success, you have a right to decent work and you should have an ability to address issues of concern, not only on an individual basis, but also on a collective basis.

“Mandate Trade Union has been campaigning for decent jobs and decent terms and conditions for several years now. The Fair Shop campaign allows a consumer to support that campaign by arming the consumer with knowledge about which employers recognise their workers’ basic human rights.”

In addition, Mr Douglas said the Fair Shop campaign – by encouraging consumers to shop with retailers who treat their workers fairly – is also designed to promote the value to retail companies of respecting workers and offering them a decent living income.

You can support this important campaign by signing the Fair Shop pledge now.

For more information about Fair Shop contact info@fairshop.ie