Dunnes worker wins tribunal

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Employment Tribunal has found in favour of Dunnes Stores worker denied union representation.

The Unite Legal Services victory resulted in a Coleraine worker being awarded £400 compensation.

Unite Regional Officer, Philip Oakes, welcomed the decision: “Unite Legal Services took this case on behalf of a Dunnes Store worker who had been denied union representation at a disciplinary hearing.

“The employer subsequently admitted a breach of the legislation but argued that the Tribunal should only make a token award on the grounds that they had acted to rectify the situation by re-running the disciplinary process with union representation allowed.

“Our legal counsel argued that this made no substantive difference and that the worker had been subjected to detrimental treatment by the employer in ignoring her legal right to be accompanied by a union representative.

“In addition,Dunnes Stores issued the worker with a letter stating that she could only take along a fellow employee to the subsequent appeal, despite her insistence that she be accompanied by a union representative. In the event, the appeal never took place as the process was aborted by Dunnes management.”

Mr Oakes added: “The Tribunal agreed with our case and our argument that there had been two breaches – an actual breach in not allowing her to be represented at the original disciplinary hearing and a second breach by issuing a letter ‘threatening’ the same approach in a future appeal.