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Primark staff plan action over two-year pay freeze

By Louise Small

Primark workers in Northern Ireland have voted to take industrial action over a two-year pay freeze.

Members of shopworkers' union Usdaw voted 87.7% to 12.3% in favour of the action in a second ballot yesterday.

Union reps at Primark will meet next week to decide on what type of action will be taken and when.

Usdaw area organiser Nicola Scarborough said: "The overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action reflects the anger our members feel at the way Primark is treating its loyal and long-serving workforce and it underlines their determination to achieve a fair pay deal.

"There is no question of Primark being unable to afford a decent pay rise.

"Sales at the company continue to increase by double digits and in the past two years Primark has made profits of £644m.

"Primark must recognise the exceptional contribution its staff are making to its success."

A spokesman for Primark's parent company Associated British Foods refused to comment.

Usdaw members accepted a pay freeze in 2010 after negotiations with the Labour Relations Agency.

The union now claims that deal was reached in the belief that the employees would not face a pay freeze two years running.

The union said it was urging the company to try to negotiate a settlement.

Last month, Primark revealed a 16% increase in its sales for the 16 weeks to January 7 but said this week that new year trading had slowed down.

16%

The increase in sales revealed by Primark last month

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