Tesco staff in Tullamore will go on strike from Valentine's Day, February 14 and the action will continue for an indefinite duration
Mandate, which represents more than 10,000 workers at the company, say the strike will initially involve nine stores, but could escalate with a further 15 stores expected to ballot for industrial action tonight and tomorrow night.
The other stores currently set to be affected are Baggot Street Lower in Dublin, Ballyfermot Road in Dublin, Bray, Clearwater Shopping Centre in Finglas, Rear Main Street in Longford, Navan Town Centre, O’Connell Street in Sligo and Manor West Retail Park, Tralee, Co Kerry.
The union claims that Tesco Ireland are attempting to force changes to contracts of employment without agreement for approximately 250 workers employed before 1996. The union further claims that the new contracts would result in some workers experiencing reduced incomes of up to 15 percent along with increased ‘flexibility’. Mandate say any attempts to change any workers’ conditions of employment without agreement will be resisted vigorously by their members.
John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary said, “Tesco is the most profitable retailer in the Republic of Ireland with estimated profits of more than €200 million annually and has recently purchased the largest UK wholesaler Booker for €4.3 billion. The company has confirmed that dividend payments to shareholders will restart this year and their share price has gone up by 33 percent in six months.”
“Meanwhile” added Mr Douglas, “Tesco workers in Ireland who have worked with the company for more than 21 years, and are already classified as low-paid on slightly more than €14 per hour, are being told to accept imposed changes to their contracts or get out the door.”
Tesco says the stores involved in the strike would remain open adding that the contract changes would affect less than 280 people out of a total workforce of 14,500.
Tesco added that the company, "want to improve our customer service but these terms are no longer suitable as we have too many people working during the earlier quieter times of the week and this also creates unfairness between colleagues."