Do You Shop Fair?
We all have to make decisions everyday as consumers. Whether it’s about changing the furniture in our bedroom, what to get for Saturday night dinner or where to buy a new outfit there are decisions to be made. Over the past few years these consumer decisions have become more difficult as most of us have less disposable income to spend on things like bedroom furniture, a take-away on Saturday or a different outfit for every event.
These decisions have also become more difficult because of the amount of information that consumers are faced with every day. So many special offers, limited editions, Fair Trade, Buy Irish, Eat Healthy…………..the list goes on. However, one key piece of information that is missing for most consumers is which shops look after and respect their staff. A lot of the pressure to buy certain products is driven by price, but what about the people. What price do they pay at work?
Mandate Trade Union launched their Shop Fair campaign last year which asks consumers to shop in fair shops. These ‘fair shops’ are those shops where workers are respected and allowed a voice in decision-making that affects them. The list of fair shops in Ireland shows the retailers that recognise Mandate for collective bargaining purposes and the shops that allow their staff to have an organised Trade Union involved in the day-to-day life of the shop.
The Fair Shop campaign is about Decent Work and it’s availability in Ireland. By wholly respecting workers’ right to join a Trade Union, fair shops give workers their rightful choice to seek decent pay, decent hours, decent conditions and decent livelihoods. Decent Work is not just about having a job it’s about working at a job that allows you to have a life.
By shopping in fair shops we as consumers can help to combat the growing problem of ‘a job at any cost’ in this country. For us as consumers to get super low prices or extravagant special offers we must consider; what is the human cost to the staff working in certain shops? Are these special offers and low prices born out of economies of scale? Or big business efficiencies? Or some sacrifice by the workers on the shop floor? Mandate and the Fair Shop campaign are asking us as consumers to consider the real price we pay for products and to shop where workers are treated fairly.
http://www.fairshop.ie - Rachael Shortt, YC Champion
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