Lloyds Pharmacy strike highlights need for referendum on collective bargaining
The strike by workers in Lloyds Pharmacy stores across Ireland today (Friday 29th June) highlights the importance of a constitutional referendum to ensure the right of workers to freely collectively bargain with their employers, says Labour Party chairman Jack O’Connor.
Speaking during a solidarity visit to striking Lloyds Pharmacy workers in Wicklow Town in County Wicklow, Jack O’Connor, said:
“I stand fully behind the Lloyds Pharmacy workers and their trade union, Mandate, in their fight to have their right to collectively bargain with their employer respected.
“The workers’ strike action relates to a claim for increased pay and improved conditions by Mandate Trade Union on behalf of its members employed by Lloyds Pharmacy. The Labour Court issued a recommendation stating that the company should engage with their workers’ designated representatives, Mandate Trade Union, but to date the company has refused to negotiate. This has left the workers with no alternative other than to take industrial action.”
He added: “This situation clearly highlights the need for action so that workers’ right to collectively bargain is respected. Collective bargaining is recognised as a fundamental right enshrined in Article 28 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights which was at the core of the Lisbon Treaty which the people of Ireland voted to support in 2009.
“To date, there has been a refusal to transpose this important article into Irish domestic law. In the face of this establishment intransigence it is essential that a constitutional referendum is held so that the right of workers to collectively bargain with their employer is legally safeguarded in Ireland as it is most other European states.”