Richard Boyd Barrett TD & Blackrock local rep to visit picket lines in Blackrock
In a statement today Cillian Doyle – People Before Profit local representative for Blackrock – hit out at Marks & Spencer over what he described as their ‘reprehensible’ decision to close their workers’ pension scheme.
On the 31st of October M&S management took unilateral steps to close their workers defined benefit scheme by informing employees that it was now considered a ‘discretionary benefit’. Unlike many other defined benefit schemes, which are non performing, the M&S retirement fund is performing and is currently in surplus to the tune of 17 million Euro.
Mandate which represents the majority of the 2,300 staff of the company balloted members who voted overwhelmingly for strike action (94%) which is set to take place across 17 stores nationally on Saturday 7th December.
People Before Profit’s local representative in Blackrock along with Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett will be visiting the picket line at the Frascati shopping Centre at 12.30 tomorrow.
Mr Doyle said, ‘These kinds of insidious attacks on workers’ rights and entitlements whilst disgraceful are becoming common place with many large companies, under the guise of restructuring, using the crisis as a means to chip away at the longstanding rights of workers. We see it here presently in the private sector with the looting of the pension scheme of M&S workers just as we’ve seen it in the semi-state sector with the attack on the pensions of ESB workers.’
‘What is really frightening is the fact that these kinds attacks are fast gaining the force of law as evidenced by both millionaire Senator Fergal Quinn’s latest bill to jail striking workers of essential services for up to 5 years, and the forthcoming new Companies Act which will further weaken workers bargaining power.
The message coming through is quite clear; in industrial disputes the law, far from acting as an independent or neutral arbiter, will weigh in firmly on the side of management as ordinary decent workers are left to contemplate their misfortune”.
Mr Doyle said he will be down at the picket line at Frascati shopping centre this Saturday to show support and solidarity with the striking workers of Blackrock.”