'Indefinite' strike action planned at nine Tesco stores

Mandate union has said the action could escalate to other stores

Tesco, Ireland, Mandate, strike, called off, unnion,

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Workers at nine Tesco store are to go on strike on Valentine's Day.

Mandate trade union - which represents 10,000 Tesco workers - has issued a notice of indefinite strike from February 14th as a row over long-term contracts escalates.

The dispute centres around the contracts of around 250 workers employed before 1996.

The supermarket is looking to change shift patterns to allow more flexibility when it comes to staffing. However, unions say the changes could result in some workers "experiencing reduced incomes of up to 15%" alongside the changes to conditions & flexibility.

The union is warning that workers at 15 other Tesco stores are being balloted for action.

John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary, said: “This is about decent work in the retail sector and across the rest of our society. 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.

“No worker wants to go on strike, but our members recognise that if Tesco can get away with tearing up contracts of employment without agreement for pre-1996 staff, it’ll be the 3,000 workers on post-1996 contracts who are currently on a higher hourly rate of pay next," he added.

The company says the industrial action is unnecessary and has urged the union to accept the Labour Court recommendation on the issue.

In a statement, the company says they have not made any changes to the pre-1996 terms and conditions "which affect 250 people out of 14,500 working in Tesco".

The company states that the union's rejection of proposals "is especially frustrating given that there’s an established practice under our collective agreement that Labour Court Recommendations are accepted in Tesco and most importantly the Court has set out a clear and generous solution".

The statement adds: "Our business must be able to meet the needs of our customers but terms and conditions nearly quarter of a century old do not take account of the growth of late night, weekend and online shopping and create unfairness as hours are not evenly spread out."

According to Mandate, the initial strike will affect nine stores:

  • Tesco, Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2
  • Tesco, Ballyfermot Rd, Ballyfermot Upper, Dublin 10
  • Tesco, Vevay Road, Bray, Co Wicklow
  • Tesco, Clearwater Shopping Centre, 11 Finglas Road, Dublin 11
  • Tesco, Rear Main Street, Deanscurragh, Longford
  • Tesco, Navan Town Centre, Kennedy Rd, Dillonsland, Navan, Co. Meath
  • Tesco, O'Connell St, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo
  • Tesco, Manor West Retail Park, Ratass, Tralee, Co. Kerry
  • Tesco, Tullamore Retail Park, Portarlington Road, Cloncollig, Tullamore, Co. Offaly