Tesco strike set to escalate further
The Tesco strike turned increasingly bitter as the company claimed that an "increasing number" of staff members were returning to work.
The industrial action is set to escalate after proposed talks fell apart on February 17 and the Mandate trade union says that it will continue to ballot more outlets this coming Monday and Tuesday. So far 18 out of 24 stores recently balloted have rejected strike action.
However 16 stores are currently on strike, and according to Mandate 1,600 employees in total are on the picket line.
Next week six more outlets will join them with over 600 more union members joining the strike.
Tesco has called the actions of Mandate "reckless", saying that an "increasing number" of staff members are going back to work despite the dispute.
The company stated: "Mandate should urgently reconsider its refusal to accept the Labour Court Recommendation and its undermining of the industrial relations processes at the company and of the State, including its use of a Labour Court intervention to try to strengthen its hand in ballots."
Mandate General Secretary John Douglas has denied the claim, saying "very few" workers have returned to work.
"Ultimately this dispute will have to be resolved, it's doing an awful lot of damage to the company. It's causing an awful lot of inconvenience to customers," Mr Douglas said.
"It's doing an awful lot of damage to small retailers in shopping centres and their suppliers," he added.
Four stores will be balloted on Monday and Tuesday, this includes two stores in Kilbarrick and Clarehall in Dublin.
The disputes centres on 250 staff who have contracts pre-1996. They believe Tesco are trying to cut their pay by up to 15pc in some cases and get rid of fixed hour contracts.
Tesco say they haven't changed the contracts.