Labour Court recommends 12% pay increase for Hodges Figgis 'legacy workers'

Labour Court Recommends 12% Pay Increase For Hodges Figgis 'Legacy Workers'
The Labour Court has recommended a 12 per cent pay increase for a number of workers at one of the country's best known bookshops, Hodges Figgis.
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Gordon Deegan

The Labour Court has recommended a 12 per cent pay increase for a number of workers at one of the country's best known bookshops, Hodges Figgis.

The nine workers who brought the pay claim are ‘legacy’ workers and worked for Hodges Figgis prior to book retailer, Waterstones purchasing the Hodges Figgis business in 1999.


The store on Dublin’s Dawson Street employs 45 and is consistently one of the top performing stores in the Waterstones UK and Ireland group.

The majority of Hodges Figgis workers are on Waterstones contracts and have received two pay increases of 6 per cent each in April and December 2022 while the ‘legacy’ workers did not receive any pay increase.

Now, the Labour Court has recommended that the nine ‘legacy’ retail assistants receive the 12 per cent pay increase from September 1st on certain conditions.

The Labour Court was told that there are three principal matters in respect of which the working arrangements of legacy workers and those on Waterstones’ contracts differ - Sunday working, public holidays and special events such as book launches.


Legacy contracts

The Labour Court recommendation says that in practice, for example, those on legacy contracts are not rostered to work public holidays as their contracts provide for payment of double time plus a day off in lieu when a public holiday is worked.

In contrast, those on Waterstones’ contracts who work on a public holiday receive a day’s pay and can avail themselves of a day’s annual leave thereafter.

It has been open to those on legacy contracts to voluntarily move to the Waterstones’ contract at any stage.

Now, as part of the recommendation, Deputy Chairman of the Labour Court, Alan Haugh has stated that the 12 per cent pay increase is conditional on the nine agree to adopt and apply the arrangements that apply to their colleagues on Waterstones’ terms and conditions in relation to Sunday working, working on public holidays and at special events as and from September 1st.


The nine were represented by SIPTU in the claim and Industrial Organiser at the Services Division at SIPTU Myles Worth said that the nine ‘legacy’ workers have been balloted and have voted in favour of the Labour Court recommendation.

Mr Worth said the last of the workers concerned reached the top of their incremental pay scale in 2018 and none of the nine have had any cost of living pay increases since then.

He said: “We are delighted with the outcome after such a long dispute. The members are very happy that it has finally come to a conclusion.”

Mr Worth said that the nine ‘legacy’ workers have also missed out on annual bonus payments during profitable years for the company.

Retail Manager at Waterstones Ireland Sinead McCorry said that “Waterstones welcomes the Labour Court recommendation, that we are happy to honour".

She said: “Hodges Figgis booksellers have a long illustrious tradition of bookselling to the people of Dublin and beyond since 1768. As we continue to evolve, we look forward to enriching our customers’ experience with Hodges Figgis through the launch of a website commencing an exciting new chapter in our stories history."

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