Tesco threatens dismissal to staff who picketed at other stores

Tesco has urged the Mandate trade union to call off proposed strikes in two stores in the coming weeks

Tesco has threatened disciplinary action 'up to and including dismissal' to nearly 100 employees who picketed at other stores where they didn't work

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13 April 2017 | 0

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Tesco has threatened disciplinary action “up to and including dismissal” to almost 100 of its own employees who picketed at stores they didn’t work at during the recent strike.

As reported in The Irish Times, Tesco sent a letter to those concerned which stated:

“It has come to our attention that you have been engaged in picketing at [X STORE].

“This is the case even though your store voted not to take strike action and the strike notices served on Tesco on the 5 and 8 of February do not include colleagues from your store.”

The letter went on to say: “Given this alleged behaviour you will be invited to an investigation meeting to determine whether or not disciplinary action is required up to and including dismissal action for serious misconduct.”

Staff from non-striking shops who – in their free time – stood alongside colleagues from stores that were on strike, have also received warning letters in which they were accused of misconduct.

Tesco responded to the letters by saying “serious allegations made at any time by customers and colleagues about Tesco employees, or instances where we have concerns that colleagues left work without approval, irrespective of an industrial relations dispute or not, will always be investigated via the company’s processes,” The Irish Times reported.

On Friday 24 February, Tesco workers’ trade union, Mandate, sent a letter to its members stating that it had received a letter from the Labour Court inviting the parties together with Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and business representative group,Ibec to attend discussions in the Labour Court regarding the dispute.

During the course of the discussions the Labour Court requested: “That Tesco Ireland Ltd refrain from unilaterally imposing changes to the pre-1996 contracts for the duration of the process.”

It also requested an end to picketing during the period and said both parties agreed an “orderly and peaceful return to work”, alongside ensuring “no recriminations either by or against staff or management as a result of the dispute to date”.

The parties agreed to the terms and the discussions are currently ongoing.

 

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