Mandate urges caution on ‘Living Wage’ employers

Mandate trade Union has today (Thursday, 8th October 2015) given a cautious welcome to the announcement by multinational retailer Lidl that the company is to pay the Living Wage hourly rate to all of its employees in the Republic of Ireland.

However, the union has said Lidl needs to ensure guaranteed weekly earnings for all of its employees.

“There’s a big difference between a Living Wage and a Living Wage hourly rate which is €11.50ph,” said John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary.

“The living wage is calculated on the basis of a 39 hour week, meaning a worker should earn €450 per week. We know that Lidl has workers on 5 and 10 hour contracts of employment which do not provide those workers with a weekly living wage,” said Mr Douglas.

He added, “Nobody pays their bills by the hour and that’s why a weekly income is so important. Decent work is about much more than a simple hourly rate of pay. It’s about guaranteed weekly earnings, it’s about having a voice at work and it’s about respect and dignity in the workplace.

Mr Douglas concluded: “A number of our members from Lidl have informed us in that past that the allocation of hours in Lidl is used to keep workers compliant. This type of arbitrary allocation of hours – which has the potential to remove a workers’ ability to feed and clothe their families – is completely unacceptable. We’re calling on Lidl to sit down with their workers’ representatives, Mandate Trade Union, to discuss how we can achieve decent work for all Lidl workers.”

Mandate will be writing to Lidl management seeking a meeting on behalf of their members to address a number of issues identified, including:

Secure hour contracts for all workers.
Understaffing in some stores.
The right to be represented by their trade union.