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War of Words

Tesco wants union to end 'reckless' strike as number of striking workers grows to 2,000

The union, however, says it is not stopping after workers in Sligo town voted to join the action.

TESCO HAS CALLED for an end to a “reckless” strike by staff at 22 stores.

The acrimony between the company and union Mandate continued last night as five stores rejected strike action and one more voted to join the picket.

The row centres on proposed changes to pre-1996 contracts which a small number of staff are currently on. Tesco now says that the results of the ballot mean that Mandate should end the strike.

“Mandate’s call to strike has now been rejected in more than half of stores balloted with the heavy losses delivered over the last three nights.

“It is incontrovertible that Mandate’s strike plan is not being endorsed as is shown not just by the union’s overwhelming losses in ballots but also by the increasing number of colleagues crossing picket lines to return to work, with a further increase today.

“Mandate should urgently reconsider its refusal to accept the Labour Court Recommendation and its undermining of the industrial relations processes at the company and of the State, including its use of a Labour Court intervention to try to strengthen its hand in ballots.”

The union, however, says it is not stopping after workers in Sligo town voted to join the action.

“We are in the process of arranging for more ballots to take place next week after requests have come in from the workers in the stores concerned,” said Mandate general secretary John Douglas.

Douglas said that it was “disappointing but not surprising” that IBEC have announced their withdrawal from this afternoon’s scheduled meeting between the Labour Court, IBEC and ICTU. He said that he understands that ICTU intends to attend the Labour Court meeting nonetheless.

He said that Mandate had received data showing sales at Tesco stores was down during the strike.

“Tesco Ireland’s own data – which Mandate has had sight of – shows that the company is not only alienating large sections of its own staff it is also doing the same to many of its customers who have seen through the company’s spin and are avoiding Tesco stores in their droves.”

Read: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: ‘I never pass pickets. We are all humans and need each other to survive’

Read: A St Pat’s lecturer brought her students to Tesco today to teach them about the strike

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