Latest: Lloyds Pharmacy say industrial action by employees tomorrow is 'disappointing'

Update 12.25pm: Lloyds Pharmacy have said that they are disappointed with the decision by Mandate Trade Union to take strike action tomorrow.

Tomorrow will see 200 Lloyds Pharmacy employees commence the second of three planned industrial actions tomorrow.

In a statement released this afternoon, Lloyds Pharmacy said: "We wish to assure patients once more that a full plan is in place to minimise its impact. With the hard work and professionalism of our team, disruption was curtailed last week, with only four stores closing for the one-hour period of the strike.

"We are confident that despite tomorrow’s action, stores will be open and patients’ needs will be met. We thank our patients for their support.

"Mandate’s decision to strike is disappointing, not least given the progress made over the past month with the independent body which represents our team, the Colleague Representative Committee (CRC).

"Pay increases backdated to 1 April, a new sick pay scheme, and the elimination of the minimum wage was agreed on 23 May last and have since been implemented.

"The next phase of CRC engagement is underway. We have indicated our commitment to speedily delivering further affordable improvements, including on pay scales.

"Contrary to deliberately misleading information, we do not have, and never had, zero-hour contracts. All part-time colleagues receive six weeks advance notice of working hours and work on average 25 hours per week.

"This does not amount to a zero hour contract and is aligned to the requirements of our colleagues and the needs of our business."

Earlier: Lloyds Pharmacy staff in 29 stores to strike tomorrow

More than 200 Lloyds Pharmacy employees are set to go on a second strike tomorrow over pay and conditions.

Last week, 29 stores took industrial action - with five additional stores set to join tomorrow's industrial action between 10am and 12 noon.

Employees are looking for a pay increase as well as the introduction of a sick pay scheme and the elimination of zero hour contracts.

They are also seeking improvements in annual leave entitlements and public holiday premiums.

Mandate Trade Union says the failure by Lloyds Pharmacy to engage in meaningful negotiations has left the workers with no alternative but to escalate the dispute.

LloydsPharmacy Ireland operates 88 stores across the Republic of Ireland with approximately 800 staff in their retail business.

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