Employer agrees to talks as union re-ballots members following technical oversight


Strike action at Primark in Northern Ireland has been put on hold after the company has agreed to talk to Usdaw officials.

At the same time, the union is to re-ballot members after being told a technical oversight might have left it open to legal challenge in the courts.

Last month, Usdaw members voted 93% to 7% in favour of taking industrial action in protest at Primark’s attempt to impose a pay freeze for the second year running. Although Primark was verbally informed of the result on the day the ballot closed, this was not immediately confirmed in writing, an oversight the Union has been advised could have led to a legal challenge against any resulting legal action.

The new ballot will open next Wednesday 15 February and close on Wednesday 29 February.

Usdaw area organiser Nicola Scarborough said: “We welcome the company’s decision to get back round the negotiating table and we hope that this week’s talks will lead to a resolution of the dispute.

“Industrial action is obviously a last resort and one our members would prefer not to have to take, but they do want Primark to treat them fairly and recognise the contribution they are making to the company’s success.

“The oversight in the first ballot is very regrettable but the new ballot will ensure the union and its members are legally protected should any industrial action prove necessary.”

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