Workers at four Marks & Spencer stores that are due to close are to be balloted on strike action.

Mandate Trade Union is to ballot its 180 members from the stores in Dún Laoghaire, Mullingar, Naas and Tallaght after talks broke down at the Labour Relations Commission.

The union says the company has refused to discuss alternatives to the compulsory redundancy notice that was issued to the workers at the four stores last week.

Mandate says management has "rejected outright" the possibility of redeployment through a voluntary redundancy scheme and has refused to release details of the redundancy package.

The result of the ballot is expected on 19 August.

Marks & Spencer said the four shops were unprofitable and that the decision to close them came after a strategic review.

When the closures were announced the head of M&S Ireland, Jonathan Glenister, said the decision was a difficult one, but it was taken to protect the long-term good of the company.