No progress in overnight talks aimed at resolving Tesco dispute

Union members deferred strike action after company suspended planned pay cuts

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Overnight talks aimed at averting industrial action by Tesco staff have ended without agreement.

Mandate members at the retailer had been due to picket more than 70 outlets across the country on Monday in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Staff voted in favour of industrial action last month after the company proposed new contracts with reduced rates for pre-1996 employees.

The planned strike was put on hold last week to allow for negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). 

Tesco also agreed to suspend its planned pay cuts, which would have affected around 300 longer-serving staff, pending the outcome of talks.

In a statement this morning, the WRC said it had discussed “complex matters” with the two sides over the course of 14 hours.

“The commission is exploring various options for the resolution of the dispute with both parties, but is not in a position to advance the negotiations at this stage,” it said.

Tesco and Mandate have now been asked to consider their respective positions and return to the WRC next Monday.

In the meantime, the commission has requested that neither party “engages in any activity by way of statement, comment or action that would exacerbate an already difficult situation”.