Dunnes Stores workers tell how they ended up on strike following a union instruction not to handle South African goods.

10 Dunnes Stores workers went on strike in 1984 when checkout girl Mary Manning was suspended for refusing to handle South African goods. Mary had been following a union instruction given to all members as part of the struggle against apartheid.

Doireann Ní Bhriain visited the picket on the Henry St branch of Dunnes Stores in Dublin in March 1985. In this report for ‘The Women’s Programme’, picketers Sandra Griffin, Theresa Mooney,  Karen Gearon and Tommy Davies explain the background to the strike and how they were simply following a union instruction. Karen Gearon, the branch shop steward, says that Dunnes Stores intimidated other staff into backing down on the issue, but that there is a lot of ground support for the strikers. 

The strike continued until April 1987, when South African goods were banned from Ireland.