independent

Sunday 20 January 2019

Tesco employees vote in favour of industrial action

Tesco, Sligo. Pic: Donal Hackett
Tesco, Sligo. Pic: Donal Hackett

Jessica Farry

Tesco workers in Sligo have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a dispute over collective representation.

Sligo workers will strike this Thursday, 6th December and again on Friday, 14th December.

Tesco workers in Carrick-on-Shannon will strike on Saturday, 22nd December.

The Sligo store voted in favour of industrial action by a margin of 97pc, with an 85pc turnout in the ballot.

There is a possibility more dates will be added and other stores may join their colleagues in the coming weeks and months.

Mandate Trade Union General Secretary John Douglas said: "It's extremely disappointing it has come to this.

"Our members do not want to be on strike, particularly in the run up to Christmas, but unfortunately Tesco management have left them with no alternative.

"For the last three years Mandate has tried to engage with the company on a whole range of issues, but it seems Tesco management are determined to continue with their de-unionisation plan, Project Black."

He added: "They have refused to engage with their workers on pay and conditions of employment, on the removal of canteens and break room facilities, they have refused to pay some workers a cost of living pay increase for four consecutive years, and crucially, they have breached collective agreements which they freely entered into with their workers."

In a statement, Tesco appealed to Mandate to call off its one-day strike threats in two stores.

"They are in breach of the company and union's agreed procedures which are to refer disputes to the Workplace Relations Commission," a statement said. "If Mandate proceeds with the proposed unwarranted one-day strike actions for the two stores, both will continue to remain open to serve customers.

"We regret that Mandate is inflicting this inconvenience on our customers in December when our stores are at their busiest and particularly given these stores are close to the Border.

"We call on Mandate to abide by procedures and to immediately withdraw its strike notices for Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon.

"A conciliation conference on the two issues in Sligo was scheduled at the Workplace Relations Commission for October 24th but was rejected by Mandate.

"Tesco has always abided by agreed procedures and we expect Mandate to do the same."

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