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Dunnes staff want Galvin to pull plug on style deal

NewsBy Lynne Kelleher
Paul Galvin
Paul Galvin

Striking Dunnes workers have called on GAA star Paul Galvin to suspend his new clothing range until they get “decent working conditions”.

The Kerry footballer has been signed up to design a menswear clothing range for the department store.

But now workers, the Mandate union and politicians have called on the sports star to postpone his collaboration until the current industrial dispute is resolved.

More than 5,000 Dunnes workers staged a one-day stoppage on Holy Thursday, placing pickets on over 100 branches.

The dispute is over the company’s low-hour contracts of 15 to 37.5 hours a week, with no guarantee of how many the workers will get week-to-week.

Mandate claims the contracts leave thousands of workers under-employed and with no way of organising childcare or arranging loans or mortgages.

Dunnes has not engaged with the union on the issue.

Last night there were calls for Kerry maestro Paul Galvin to support the workers and not work with Dunnes until the dispute is settled.

People Before Profit spokesperson and Dublin City Councillor Bríd Smith, who has called for a public boycott of Dunnes, said: “It would be brilliant if Paul Galvin supported the boycott. We would be delighted if he showed solidarity with the workers.

One Dunnes worker said: “We want support from the public and if a high-profile sportsman like Paul Galvin threw his weight behind us, it would mean a lot. If he refused to work with them it would highlight our cause and put pressure on the company to talk to us.”

Galvin (35), who is engaged to Today FM DJ Louise Duffy (31), is known for his love of fashion and had a weekly style column in a national newspaper.

Meanwhile, Mandate has accused the company of victimising some of its members who went on strike

There have been allegations of dismissals, cuts to hours and changing of roles for the workers.

Mandate assistant general secretary Gerry Light said senior managers had ordered lists of anyone who had been on pickets.

“This is clearly malicious, vindictive and premeditated intimidation of union members by Dunnes Stores management,” he said.