Tesco strikes suspended in preparation for talks

The Mandate trade union claims the supermarket is trying to force long-serving staff to accept poorer contracts

Updated 21:30

The union representing workers at Tesco have agreed to suspend strike action as both sides in the dispute engage in discussions at the Labour Court.

Workers at 16 stores across the country have been on strike since last week. 

Another 24 stores were balloted for industrial action earlier this week – with six agreeing to join the picket next week and the remaining 18 choosing not to get involved.

The row centres around changes to some workers with pre-1996 terms and conditions.

Mandate claims the supermarket is trying to force long-serving staff to accept poorer contracts.

It said failing to honour the historical terms sets a precedent for other worker’s contracts to be altered.

Tesco has argued that the terms of the contracts mean they have too many people working during the earlier, quieter times of the week.

In a statement this evening Mandate said an invitation has been received inviting the parties - together with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the employers group IBEC - to attend discussions at the Labour Court.

In a statement issued this evening, Tesco said it will not make any changes to terms and conditions while the discussions are ongoing.

Mandate has agreed to suspend its picketing of all Tesco locations as and from tonight, 24th February 2017.

Pickets due to be placed on 3rd March 2017 will also suspended for the duration of the process.

Both parties have agreed that there will be an orderly and peaceful return to work and that there will be no recriminations either by or against staff or management as a result of the dispute to date.