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Tesco staff have voted to take industrial action

The actions will affect some stores and many in-store butchers.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

STAFF AT A number of Tesco stores and in-store butchers have voted in favour of industrial action.

Siptu says the action, which goes up to strike action, has come about because the supermarket chain has not fully implemented a Workplace Relations Commission recommendation which awarded all retail staff a 2% pay increase and a 1.5% share bonus scheme payment.

Siptu’s Teresa Hannick says Tesco is instead attempting to enforce cuts on staff.

“Instead, the company is attempting to enforce pay cuts of between 15% and 35% from 18 April, along with other changes to work patterns and loss of bonuses, on long serving staff.

This is a situation that our members cannot accept. The failure of management to engage in meaningful discussions with our members regarding this issue and its refusal to attend a Labour Court hearing has left them with no option but to take industrial action.

Tesco Ireland employs approximately 14,500 workers in its 149 stores in the Republic of Ireland. SIPTU represents Tesco retail staff in the company’s stores in Portlaoise, Cavan, Edenderry, Mullingar, Athlone, Douglas in Cork and in-store butchers throughout the country.

A Tesco spokesperson said they were “disappointed” with the vote.

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“The pre-1996 contract was agreed over 20 years ago at a time when stores didn’t open weekends or late nights and as a result we now have too many colleagues rostered during our quietest days instead of our busiest. To improve customer service, we need to unlock the inflexibility in the pre-1996 contract which limits our ability to invest in having more colleagues working where our customers need and value them most. We are proposing to move these colleagues to our modern contract which was agreed with Trade Unions in 2006 and covers the vast majority of our workforce.”

Tesco says they remain committed to the discussions with trade unions and says that Siptu is mistaken on the WRC issue.

“We have announced a 2% pay rise for all colleagues except those on pre-1996 contracts as are we are in discussions on this contract. Further we have also committed to paying all colleagues a cash bonus of 1.5% in the spirit of the Labour Court recommendation, except pre-1996 who received a 5% share bonus.”

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