Workers defer strikes, Tesco and unions to talk
Tesco workers continue with their agreed hours indefinitely as the retailers awaits talks with Mandate and Siptu at the Labour Court
7 July 2009
Employees at 19 different Tesco Ireland stores, scheduled to hold official all-out strikes on 2 July, have deferred their action for the time being to facilitate discussions between the company and the trade unions Mandate and Siptu.
As of going to print the parties had not yet been given a date for formal talks at the Labour Court, but the Tesco employees concerned had resumed work as normal in the interim, with their hours in tact for the time being.
Retail workers union Mandate had served notice of the strike action on Tesco as its proposed cutbacks on staff hours left it in breach of contract, the union said. According to the Mandate, its 2006 agreement with Tesco “enables workers to have stability and consistency in their income through a banded hour contract system.”
The agreement put employees into categories of working hours whereby a worker would be entitled to work in bands of 5 hours. Workers on a band of 25 to 30 hour contracts, for instance, were to have their hours reduced below the minimum of 25 provided for in the contract.
Mandate assistant general secretary Linda Tanham said that some workers stood to lose over €100 per week due to the “unreasonable and unnecessary cutbacks in working hours” that Tesco was proposing.