Tesco workers call off strike after company defers pay cuts

Mandate to enter into talks with company after new contracts are put on hold

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A planned strike by Tesco workers has been called off to allow for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission. 

Staff were due to picket more than 70 outlets across the country on Monday in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Mandate members voted in favour of industrial action last month after the retailer proposed new contracts with reduced rates for longer-serving employees.

The trade union had said the change would have seen staff hired before 1996 having to accept pay cuts of between 15% and 35%, roster changes, lower Sunday premiums, and a reduction in overtime and annual bonuses.

The new contracts, which were due to be imposed from Monday, have now been put on hold pending the outcome of talks on May 18th.

Mandate said it decided to suspend industrial action after Tesco agreed to "withdraw its threat to make changes to workers' conditions of employment". 

Gerry Light of Mandate said: “Mandate has always said we are prepared to engage with Tesco in good faith negotiations, either directly, or at a third party such as the WRC or the Labour Court, and that remains the case.”

He added: “We believe this dispute can be resolved at the WRC or Labour Court but Tesco have to be willing to engage in good faith negotiations too.”