Shopworkers in Northern Ireland celebrate after pay freeze thaws

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The threat of industrial action at Primark in Northern Ireland has been lifted after Usdaw members voted 95% in favour of accepting the company’s latest pay offer.

Two weeks ago, Usdaw suspended strike action due to take place over the St Patrick’s Day holiday weekend after Primark made an eleventh hour pay offer during talks convened at the Labour Relations Agency.

The deal means the hourly rate of pay for shop floor workers at Primark will increase from £6.84 to £7.14 from next month. Staff will receive a 1% pay increase from 1 January 2012 followed by a further increase of 1.88% from April 2012. In addition, and also from next month, the current Christmas bonus of one week’s pay will instead be incorporated into the basic hourly rate, giving all shop floor workers a total hourly rate of £7.14 an hour.

The dispute was originally sparked by Primark’s decision to impose a two year pay freeze on its Northern Ireland staff.

Nicola Scarborough, Usdaw Area Organiser said: “Our members clearly welcomed the offer made by Primark and are pleased the dispute has been settled without the need for industrial action. The positive outcome shows the benefits of the company working more closely with Usdaw on pay and other issues of concern to staff.”


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