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Tesco set to strike on Thursday after talks break down

Talks between Tesco and trade union Mandate have broken down, almost two weeks after the previous strike was called off.

Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

TESCO WORKERS WILL strike on Thursday morning across 70 stores, following a breakdown of talks between Tesco and Mandate Trade Union.

Tesco workers were due to strike almost two weeks ago but the strike was called off after Tesco agreed to delay changing the pre-1996/97 contracts. Extensive discussions over the past few weeks failed to deliver progress on an agreement on changes to contracts.

Mandate say the strike is “unavoidable” unless Tesco withdraw the proposed contract changes or attend the Labour Court for an impartial hearing.

Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said:

Tesco management have failed to provide any evidence to justify making changes to workers’ conditions of employment without agreement, and that’s clearly why they haven’t agreed to attend the Labour Court.

He added that Mandate and Tesco have an agreement to attend the Labour Court in circumstances like this, and that there is a long history of that practice being used successfully in the past.

In a statement Tesco said that it is extremely disappointed with the strike announcement.

As no changes in relation to the 300 colleagues on the pre-1996/97 contract have been made, we consider such action inconsistent with the ballot which only mandated action in the event we implement change.

Tesco claimed it offered new proposals which Mandate rejected without giving members the opportunity to vote on them.

The new proposals offer a number of options including compensation for full and partial contract buyouts.

Tesco finished the statement by saying it hoped that “colleagues will see this as a genuine offer that addresses the concerns raised”.

Tesco has said that its stores and online service will open for business as normal.

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About the author:

Roisin Nestor

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