SIPTU members at Boots Chemists in the North are demanding that the company honours its contracts with staff. The call follows a statement by Boots that it intends to slash premium pay without agreement from 1st June in breach of the Wages (Northern Ireland) Order 1988.
Long serving members of staff are currently paid a premium for Sunday work and public holidays, a long and well established practice to compensate for working unsocial hours.
“SIPTU members are rejecting the proposal from Boots Management to cut premium pay without agreement for staff. This proposal is unwise, unfair and totally unacceptable,” SIPTU Lead Organiser, Martin O’Rourke said.
He said that the pharmacy chain is a highly profitable company which made over £1 billion last year and recently paid a £1 million bonus to a member of senior management, Andy Hornby, who left the company after less than two years of service.
“Our members are not provided with a £1 million handshake at the end of their service whether it is less than two years or over 40 years. They are not asking for this but they are demanding that Boots honour its contracts and SIPTU will ensure their voices are heard in this regard,” Martin O’Rourke said.
He said that the Union will be arranging regional meetings with its members in Boots to ensure they are aware of their rights and the employer’s obligations in this regard. SIPTU intends to take an individual case for each member who suffers a loss as a result of this action by management, if its asked to do so.
“We are calling Boots management to reconsider this unworkable proposal and to engage with us to ensure that the staff whose hard work and commitment on Sundays , public holidays and every working day made Boots the profits they enjoyed last year are treated in a fair and reasonable manner” he said.
SIPTU is advising all Boots employees to join the Union to ensure that management respect their contracts of employment and to ensure that management reconsider its course of action.