SIPTU, the union for Boots workers here, called together workers from across the stores to listen to the concerns of their membership and to work together on a coherent plan for the year ahead. The meeting, which took place in the Europa Hotel, Belfast, on 1st March, was a resounding success for what has been achieved so far - and what can be achieved in the future with their input.
Points of major concern revolved around understaffing, increased workloads, stress and a distinct lack of concern shown by the company. Several constructive steps to address these issues were agreed at the meeting by the membership.
Speaking on the meeting, Niall McNally, SIPTU Organiser said: “This meeting provided an excellent platform for Boots workers from many stores to meet, discuss and agree on the way forward. There was a very palpable anger in the room at the lassez faire attitude of Boots management to their concerns, but also a realisation that they were not alone and that working together through their union SIPTU, they could take steps to rectify this.
It was gratifying to hear people saying at the end that they were glad they had attended and would go back into their stores more determined to assert their rights in work”.
One worker representative, Shelley Doloughan said she was, “proud of the level of commitment and enthusiasm shown by the people at the meeting and urged members to get the message out there not to be afraid to speak out and to support each other.
Marie McAteer followed this by re-iterating to those present that. “They are the union and it is them who can bring about changes to their working lives.”
SIPTU look forward to holding similar meetings all across the region to give those who were unable to attend the chance to build into the strong network already in place.