Mandate strike action planned over Tesco pay disputes

Tesco is Ireland's most popular supermarket for the seventh consecutive period
Tesco is Ireland's most popular supermarket for the seventh consecutive period

Planned strike action at up to 14 Tesco stores over changes to employee contracts has been met with dismay by Ibec

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10 February 2017 | 0

Trade union Mandate has voted in favour of strike action at fourteen Tesco stores over planned changes to contracts for long-term staff members. That move has been condemned by the union due to Tesco’s position as one of Ireland’s most profitable retailers.

The issue stems from new terms of employment for Tesco Ireland workers who have been with the company more than 21 years. According to Mandate general secretary John Douglas, they have been told they must accept these changes or their contracts will be terminated.

‚ÄúThis is about decent work in the retail sector and across the rest of our society,” Douglas said. “Tesco management have already managed to get rid of 900 jobs, the vast majority of which were full-time, had some level of stability and could provide a decent, secure income for the workers. Not one of those full time jobs has been replaced.”

Tesco has expressed disappointment at Mandate’s action, stating that the new terms of employment have not changed from the pre-1996 contracts, and that a total of 250 out of more than 14,000 employees are affected by it.

Meanwhile, Ibec has condemned Mandate’s strike, calling it “unjustified and unreasonable”.

In a statement the group, which represents Irish business, said that the action is in defiance of the Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court recommendations.

“This action by Mandate is extraordinary,” said Maeve McElwee, Ibec’s director of employer relations. “Tesco has complied with all procedures and must react to the changing retail environment.

“Mandate should now accept the recommendation of the Labour Court and should withdraw from this industrial action as it can only do damage.”

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