Press Release

Management of O’Rourke’s Pharmacy agrees to talks with SIPTU

Date Released: 29 August 2013

SIPTU has welcomed the decision of the management of O’Rourke’s Pharmacy in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, to agree to attend proximity talks with union representatives at the Labour Relations Commission on Tuesday, 10th September.

In response, SIPTU members in O’Rourke’s Pharmacy have agreed to suspend a one-day work stoppage scheduled to take place tomorrow (Friday, 30th August). The company decision to attend talks follows a one-day work stoppage at the pharmacy on Monday (26th August).

Workers undertook the industrial action to protest at unilateral changes to their terms of employment, illegal deductions from their wages and a management refusal to engage in meaningful dialogue with their union representatives.

SIPTU Organiser, Graham Macken, said: “It is difficult to see what management has to fear from dealing with the workers’ trade union if it believes staff are being treated fairly. The workers are hopeful of a successful talks process which will result in a negotiated end to this dispute.”

SIPTU has served notice of industrial action on five of the 60 pharmacies managed by Uniphar Retail Services (URS). As well as O’Rourke’s  the pharmacies affected include Byrne’s (North Circular Road, Dublin), Blake’s  (Celbridge, Co. Kildare), O’Sullivan’s (Bantry, Co. Cork) and Crowley's (Mahon, Co. Cork). SIPTU members at Crowley’s conducted a one-day stoppage last Thursday (22nd August). Despite a refusal to recognise SIPTU for the purpose of collective bargaining, management at Byrne's and O'Sullivan's previously agreed to attend proximity talks and action at these locations has been temporarily postponed.

Graham Macken added: “The workers at Blake’s and Crowley’s are hopeful that management will also see sense and agree to respect their employees’ right to be represented by their trade union in talks aimed at solving all matters that are in dispute.”

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