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Mandate and Tesco agree to 'without prejudice' talks with a view to ending ongoing strike

The eight Tesco stores affected by the strike are set to be joined by another eight more tomorrow.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

THE MANDATE TRADE Union has said it welcomes the agreement with Tesco Ireland to enter into “without prejudice” talks with a view to settling the current dispute which sees staff at eight Tesco stores on indefinite strike.

A meeting between the two parties is set to take place over the coming days, said Mandate.

Mandate general secretary John Douglas said: “Whilst we welcome Tesco Ireland’s response to our offer of ‘without prejudice’ talks we are also cautious as the company has said that the solution to the dispute ‘is as set out by the Labour Court in its recommendation’.

However, as we have pointed on a number of occasions to Tesco Ireland an solution to this dispute cannot be found totally within the confines of the recommendation as it currently stands.

Tesco statements have repeatedly asserted that it was abiding by the Labour Court in its actions and criticised Mandate for taking strike action.

According to Mandate, staff at eight Tesco stores remain on indefinite strike.

They are in Baggot Street, Ballyfermot and Finglas in Dublin, with stores in Tralee, Longford, Navan, Tullamore and Bray also affected.

From tomorrow a further eight stores will join the strike, according to Mandate.

They are in:

  • Artane Castle Shopping Centre, Beaumont, Dublin 5
  • Ballybrack, Co Dublin
  • Roselawn Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
  • Drumcondra, Dublin 9
  • Phibsborough, Dublin 7
  • Prussia Street, Dublin 7
  • Tirkeenan, Co Monaghan
  • Greystones, Co Wicklow

The dispute centres around contract changes for workers who have been employed by Tesco since before 1996.

There are 250 people who will be affected by these contract changes, while 700 have taken voluntary redundancy in the past year (Mandate states this figure is higher). Tesco Ireland currently employs 14,500 people.

Mandate said it believes these new contracts will be vastly inferior to the ones workers are now on.

Tesco strongly disputes his however. It states that “the company has not made any changes to the pre-1996 terms and conditions of the 250 workers at the centre of the dispute”.

A Tesco statement to TheJournal.ie said that an agreement had been made in principle for “without prejudice” talks, but no details had yet been made for when they would take place.

Read: ‘We’ll be here as long as it takes’: Striking Tesco workers say they’re in it for the long haul

Read: What on earth is Project Black? And why are Irish unions so worried about it?

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Sean Murray

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