Thursday 8 December 2016

Labour Court tells Tesco to pay bonuses to each Irish employee

Gordon Deegan

Published 05/03/2016 | 02:30

The Labour Court has recommended a 2pc pay rise for Tesco workers.
The Labour Court has recommended a 2pc pay rise for Tesco workers.

Tesco has told the Labour Court that it cannot afford to pay its Irish staff their 2015 bonus as it continues to experience a year-on-year fall in sales.

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However, the retailer - under pressure from German retailers Aldi and Lidl - has not convinced the Labour Court which has recommended that it pay the bonus to staff which can range from €400 to €1,000 for each employee.

In the dispute before the Labour Court, the court has also recommended a 2pc pay rise backdated to last April for Tesco's 14,000-plus employees. Mandate and Siptu had sought a 3pc pay rise for staff and the payment of the withheld bonus.

Tesco told the Labour Court it continues to experience a year on year decrease in its sales position "and therefore an increase in rates of pay is not feasible at this time".

Tesco said that with the exception of certain employees who had a guaranteed bonus payment - believed to be around one third of staff - "it is not in a financial position to award a bonus to all staff".

Divisional organiser with Mandate Brendan O'Hanlon yesterday welcomed the Labour Court recommendation.

Mr O'Hanlon said that Tesco Ireland has confirmed that it is profitable but wouldn't confirm the level of profitability.

He said the retailer failed to provide profit figures to the Labour Court. "That approach doesn't help anyone. Given that they are the second biggest retailer in the country with around a 25pc market share, I believe that they are extremely profitable and that they are in a position to pay and that it is a case of 'wont pay' rather than 'can't pay'." He said that the refusal by Tesco to pay the bonus last summer "did cause a considerable level of anger". Tesco was unavailable for comment.

Irish Independent

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