SUPERMARKET chain Tesco has made 350 night staff redundant through a voluntary scheme as part of plans to reorganise shelf stacking in some of its Irish outlets.
The company has said that the redundancies followed a plan to "improve customer service" and have more workers on the shop floor during the day.
At present, Tesco employs around 15,000 people in Ireland. Of the 350 redundancies, 260 will be backfilled with shelf packing staff in the coming months who will work during the day. Approximately 90 positions will not be replaced.
A total of 30 Tesco stores will have a reduced number of staff members packing shelves on the night shift, while 33 stores have eliminated night time shelf packing entirely.
The company identified 80 of its 148 stores affected by the move; 17 will retain a full night packing shift.
In a statement, the company told the Herald that the decision was made to ensure better customer service during the busiest time of the day.
"We have been consulting with our night-working colleagues to see how many would like to change their shifts to the more family friendly day working hours.
"The majority of our colleagues have indicated that they want to swap to day shifts which mean that we will have 800 extra colleagues on our shop floors at the busiest times of the day to improve our customer service.
"This will result in some colleagues leaving the business on a voluntary basis although most roles will be backfilled," the statement said.
It is understood that all of the 350 staff who worked at night and took redundancy were offered the opportunity to work in the same store.
Tesco confirmed that night staff had received extra pay, but would not disclose how much the decision would save the company.
It said that the decision was "not about cost-saving" but about customer service.
The company also said that the redundancy terms were five weeks pay for each year of service.