Saturday 1 October 2016

Over 70 Tesco stores could be closed this Monday due to strike action

Anne-Marie Walsh

Published 11/05/2016 | 15:59

Tesco
Tesco

Almost half of Irish Tesco stores face closure on Monday due to strike action.

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Mandate confirmed that stores will close when pickets will be placed on the supermarket chain’s outlets.

It said the move comes after the company confirmed it will impose pay cuts for up to 300 staff members. 

The union said long-serving staff that Tesco wants to move onto a new contract with lower pay will take strike action and their colleagues will not pass the pickets.

The union said Tesco is forcing through changes to workers’ conditions of employment including pay cuts up to 35pc, slashing overtime and cuts to their annual bonuses and Sunday premiums.

Over 70 stores face closure. This is around half of the total number of stores, with many of the smaller Express shops not affected by the action.

More than 99pc of pre-1996 staff voted to take industrial action in a ballot last month.

Last Sunday, 88pc of their colleagues in stores that are not affected by the cuts balloted in favour of supportive industrial action.

Mandate Assistant General Secretary, Gerry Light, said Tesco management is forcing changes to the contracts of workers employed before 1996.

“These changes will seriously undermine living standards for our members who have mortgages and other commitments which were made on the back of their conditions of employment over the last 20 to 30 years,” he said.

He said Tesco is an extremely profitable employer, making more than €200m in profits in the Republic.

In a statement, released tonight, Tesco said: We’re disappointed with Mandate’s announcement that they will hold strike action on Monday.

"We remain committed to reaching agreement on this issue and earlier this week we formally tabled a generous proposal for compensation for colleagues in scope.

"We need to make this change in order to improve our customer service at our busiest times of the week. Our stores and online service will open for business on Monday as usual."

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