The 4,500 employees of the Superquinn chain, which was recently sold to an Irish business consortium for E420m, are to share a goodwill bonus worth E9m.
The payout, which is described as a goodwill gesture to staff for their role in building up the business in the past 45 years, has been agreed in negotiations between company founder Feargal Quinn and his family and the trade unions, including Mandate.
The cash value of the package is E6.5m, with each staff member due a basic payment of E250, plus an additional E150 for every year of service.
The Quinn family has also undertaken to cover any tax that may be due on the payments, increasing the total cost of the deal to an estimated E9m.
Staff are currently voting on the package, but acceptance is almost certainly assured, given strong recommendations in favour from union leaders, and the pay-outs are expected by the autumn.
Mandate general secretary John Douglas called it “a fair deal and a good gesture from the Quinn family”, and added: “We believe it is an appropriate reflection of the loyalty and hard work of staff.”
The Quinn family will net E270m from the sale of the 19-store chain, after debts of E150m are repaid.
The new owner, Select Holdings, a consortium of leading Irish businessmen, is hoping to have the deal finalised and cleared by the Competition Authority in the very near future.
According to Douglas, Mandate will then be seeking talks with the new owners on their plans for the company.
He added: “We will also be seeking from them a goodwill payment for staff, similar to the one that has been agreed by the Quinn family.”