TK Maxx workers in the Arklow store who are represented by Mandate trade union are set to strike on Saturday 7 July in response to what the union describes as "the company’s refusal to accept a Labour Court recommendation."

Mandate said it took a case to the Labour Court "in relation to banded-hour contracts, pay scales and advance notice of rosters", but that TK Maxx, through its representative body Ibec, informed the court that it would not be attending or heeding the Labour Court process because the company had "direct employee engagement processes in place."

Mandate says the refusal of the company to allow workers representation has left it with no alternative but to strike.

Mandate’s Divisional Organiser for Wicklow Michael Meegan said TK Maxx workers "are low paid, they have insecure working arrangements and their rostering is very unreliable.

"We have seen some improvements in conditions of employment since Mandate began our campaign within the company, but there is still a lot left to be achieved."

Mr Meegan added that "the company reluctantly gave a small pay increase, began issuing two-week rosters and gave some workers 20-hour contracts".

He said TK Maxx also "remarkably" bought two goldfish for the Arklow store as a "peace offering or inducement not to partake in trade union activities".

Mr Meegan added that TK Maxx has "rolled back on some of these hard won benefits, so our members will be going on strike to achieve a permanent solution to these problems".

Mandate says there is a possibility of further strikes following Saturday’s one-day stoppage.

The union has written to the company offering to meet "at the shortest possible notice" to discuss the issues in dispute.

In February a Labour Court recommendation said the company "should recognise the union as the representative of those employees who are in membership of the union and should engage with it in dealing with employment related matters."