Trade union Mandate says it has referred an ongoing pay dispute between Boots Ireland and their members to the Labour Court.

The union has been seeking a pay increase for all members of staff at the company.

The union claims Boots is refusing to give longer serving staff members a pay increase.

It claims the company has also threatened those workers with a loss of their productivity bonuses and an agreed Christmas bonus unless they accept a pay reduction of up to 18%.

Mandate sought a pay increase for all workers in Boots Ireland, whereas the company is only offering a 2% pay increase to all sales assistants earning below €12 per hour, the union claims.

In a statement, Boots said it had initiated a voluntary pay review with a number of colleagues on pre-2009 pay scales in order to bring all pay rates in line.

The package includes a realigned pay rate and a lump sum 18-month payment.

The company stressed that the review was optional and workers could choose to remain on their current pay scale if they wish.

As part of the review, Boots Ireland says it offered a 2% pay increase for all colleagues whose pay was in line with current pay scales, which comes into effect on June 1st.