Primark staff in Northern Ireland have scheduled a St Patrick’s Day strike over the retailer’s two year pay freeze.

The value fashion retailer’s eight stores in the country will be picketed during the strike, which is set to take place over Friday 16 and Saturday 17 March.

The move follows an 88% ballot in favour of taking industrial action two weeks ago. The ballots was carried out by Usdaw which represents 641 workers in Primark’s Northern Irish stores.

Members of the trade union will be asking shoppers to support their fight for fair pay by not crossing picket lines.

Staff at the retailer’s Northern Ireland business agreed to accept a pay freeze in 2010 following lengthy negotiations that involved the Labour Relations Agency (LRA). However, Primark’s refusal to offer staff a pay rise this year stimulated calls for a strike.

Usdaw area organiser Nicola Scarborough said: “We have made it clear to Primark that we are still prepared to sit down and negotiate, with help from the Labour Relations Agency if necessary, but the company must be prepared to table a realistic and meaningful pay offer for our members.”