Friday 19 July 2019

Public urged not to cross picket line

Cllr Declan Bree
Cllr Declan Bree
Cllr Hubert Keaney

Sorcha Crowley at Sligo Municipal District meeting

The Council has called on Tesco management to respect the right of their workers to trade union representation and urged the wider community in Sligo to back the workers.

Councillor Declan Bree's motion was unanimously backed as the Council also called on Tesco to abide by all of the collective agreements already made with their Mandate trade union.

"This is all about greed and profits and it is now clear Tesco will go to any lengths to roll back the improvements that have been made by its workers over the years," said Cllr Bree.

He said Tesco made more than ¤250 million in profits per year from their Irish business alone, "all in pursuit of more profits for shareholders at the expense of their local workers."

Tesco has withheld wage increases due to long serving staff, taken away canteen facilities and no longer places new employees into union membership.

It is also refusing to allow Mandate officials into stores.

Two more days of strike action were held in Sligo last Friday and Saturday.

Cllrs Gino O'Boyle and Chris MacManus supported the workers. Cllr MacManus congratulated the workers for their strong resolve and commended the wider community for not crossing the picket line.

Cllr Hubert Keaney said it was unfortunate a company of Tesco's size had rowed back on workers rights and said it was an indication of the way the global economy was going.

He pointed to the protests in Hungary recently over new a labour law allowing employers to ask for up to 400 hours of overtime work per year, leading critics to label it the "slave law."

"I had to read it twice - this from the Government of a modern European country," said Cllr Keaney.

Cllr Seamus Kilgannon said Tesco's stance was "unfortunate": "Everyone here would support the workers. It will only be resolved when Tesco come to the table. They deserve our support," he said.

Mayor of Sligo Municipal District Cllr Rosaleen O'Grady said reading about what the workers are looking for from Tesco, "it could be from 40 years ago."

"Congrats to the public for not crossing the picket line and I hope that support will be available to them this Friday and Saturday," she said.

Sligo Champion