8 January 2009 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe BY STEPHANIE LORD

Union’s ‘respect retail workers’ campaign

THE Mandate trade union, which represents 50,000 workers in the retail sector across the 26 Counties, is calling on shoppers to respect retail workers as part of a major new campaign, ‘Respect Retail Workers’.
It aims to create more awareness of the issue and protect shopworkers from the increasing problems of abuse and violence in the workplace after an increase in complaints about verbal as well as physical abuse from customers.
According to Mandate’s Co-ordinator for Campaigns, Brian Forbes, many of the incidents of abuse are based around issues which are completely outside the control of the shopworker.
“Our survey results show that, nine times out of ten, the problem the customer has is completely out of the control of the employee. Issues such as clothing sizes, refund policies and a lack of stock are high on the agenda of customer complaints, yet retail workers have very little control over these matters.”
Mandate says that one in ten retail workers experiences verbal abuse every day, an astonishing figure considering there are over 200,000 people working in the retail sector in the 26 Counties.



Retail jobs cuts in North

MITCHEL McLaughlin MLA says administrators need to do all in their power to safeguard jobs at the children’s clothes chain Adams in the Six Counties. The children’s clothing store has gone into administration and has closed 111 of its outlets. Five of the 12 Adams stores in the North are now due for closure.
He added:
“The Assembly and Executive have an obligation to do what it can to help citizens through this current economic climate; this means taking practical measures that will positively affect people in this position. It means making a real difference in people’s lives.”


Bus Éireann bullying

AN internal Bus Éireann equality review has revealed high levels of bullying and sexual harassment throughout the company.
At least 36 per cent of the semi-state body’s employees have claimed they were bullied, while 47 per cent of those surveyed stated that they had observed a work colleague being bullied.
The report also revealed that 12 per cent of the female respondents said that they had experienced sexual harassment. Although the survey was actually conducted in 2003, the results have only emerged over the past week.
The results differ to those of a recent survey by the Economic and Social Research Institute which stated that 7.9 per cent of employees in the company had experienced some form of bullying.

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