Mandate boss in Facebook attack on members who have 'no balls'
General Secretary of Mandate trade union, John Douglas, has accused his own members of having "no balls".
Mandate has been representing workers in an ongoing dispute with Tesco, after the supermarket chain announced plans earlier this year to reduce pay and conditions.
In an outburst on the Facebook page of a former Tesco worker, the union head hit out at some workers, who he later referred to as "sour grapes".
Mr Douglas called the worker whose page he posted on a "solid, solid union member" who "lead from the front" and was leaving Tesco with dignity.
But then he launched a salvo against other workers.
"Sadly, unlike some others who wish to cover their tracks by blaming their union because they have no balls to admit that their time has come and the price is right," he wrote.
He was referring to the voluntary redundancy that was offered by Tesco, which was accepted by about 700 long-term workers, but rejected by about 300.
Contacted yesterday, Mr Douglas insisted he stood over the comments on Facebook, but said that he was only talking about a small number of Mandate members.
"The union's position is that we are standing and fighting for jobs, but the company opened a redundancy deal," Mr Douglas said.
"There's a couple of people taking it and blaming the union, [saying] that the union couldn't stand and fight for their jobs," he added.
"A small number of people, who have taken the redundancy and wish to justify their decision to take [it] by blaming the union, that's all."
Asked to explain the phrase "their time has come and the price is right", Mr Douglas highlighted the Tesco redundancy deal.
"I mean, they're getting five weeks' pay per year of service, so they're getting nice cheques. So if you could just go with dignity. There's nothing more in it than that," he said.