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Sunday 25 February 2018

Bid to end bitter row on Tesco contracts over before it began

Mandate and the supermarket chain will not attend the talks. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Mandate and the supermarket chain will not attend the talks. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gerry Hand and Anne-Marie Walsh

A fresh bid to end a bitter row that is set to lead to strikes at 21 Tesco stores failed before it even began last night.

The Labour Court invited the main employer group Ibec and the union umbrella body Ictu to a meeting today as the supermarket chain and union Mandate remain at loggerheads over plans to roll out new contracts for long-serving staff.

But Ibec said it is not going to attend the talks.

It said the invitation was being "cited in some parts of the Tesco business" to encourage a vote for strike action in ballots last night.

Ibec director Maeve McElwee said, as a result, the proposed talks today are not helpful to the situation and Ibec cannot therefore take part.

Mandate members have rejected a Labour Court recommendation to resolve the row over contract changes that would have meant they had to work Saturdays and take a cut in overtime rates.

Favourable

So far, staff at 21 stores have balloted in favour of industrial action and 18 against.

The row centres around company plans to move employees who were employed pre-1996 to less favourable contracts.

Separately, striking staff at the Navan branch of Tesco were locked out of their car park yesterday, despite having paid a yearly subscription to use it.

Workers arriving for duty on the picket line on the store based in Navan Shopping Centre found that the passes they use to get into the centre's multi-storey car park were not working.

A spokesperson for Tesco said that it provides parking every day at a paid multi-storey car park at Tesco Navan, which is given as part of the terms of service to colleagues.

"It is standard policy to temporarily withdraw concessions when colleagues are not at work, including during an unjustified strike," they said.

Irish Independent

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