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All Tesco stores will remain open today and throughout the weekend

All Tesco stores will remain open again today and throughout the weekend even though an irresponsible strike continues at a small number of our shops.

Business as usual will continue with weekend promotions in all Tesco stores.  Tesco is focused on continuing to serve its customers despite this unnecessary and unjustified action by Mandate and apologises for any inconvenience.  

Following a request for talks from the union that called the strike in some stores, Tesco is now meeting Mandate and believes the Union should call off its dispute and accept the Labour Court Recommendation.

Mandate has unusually refused to accept a Labour Court Recommendation.  Tesco believes the leadership of Mandate should have endorsed the outcome of the State industrial relations processes, which both Tesco and Mandate jointly agreed to utilise to resolve the terms for making the pre-1996 changes.  

The solution to this dispute remains as set out by the Labour Court in its recommendation.

The precipitative strike was called by Mandate even though the company has implemented no changes to terms and conditions of the 230 workers out of our staff of 14,500 who are at the centre of the Labour Court Recommendation.

We are grateful for the outstanding support of colleagues and of customers through this unnecessary dispute.

The company needs to improve customer service by changing some terms and conditions that are nearly a quarter of a century old and are not suitable to meet our customers’ demands and current shopping habits.  We have worked hard over 13 months to reach agreement on how we will fairly compensate our affected colleagues for this change.

We know that industrial action is difficult, especially for our colleagues and our customers. We would like to assure everyone that we have done everything we can to resolve this issue fairly for everyone involved.

Ends

Background points

  1.  Tesco is the best employer in our sector
    • Tesco is the only food retailer to recognise Trade Unions in all our stores
    • Tesco pays the best rates of pay in the market with the average rate of pay being €14.03 per hour
    • Tesco is the only food retailer to give all our colleagues contracts guaranteeing them a minimum number of hours each week – 20,20 or 30 – and more than 50% of our colleagues work more than 30 hours per week
    • We are committed to creating better quality jobs and in the last 18 months we have given 5,000 colleagues a guaranteed extra 5 hours minimum per week

 

  1. Why the Union’s rationale for strike action is unjustified and undermining the Labour Court
    • There is a Labour Court Recommendation which sets out the solution to this issue. Why are Mandate refusing to accept it when they sought out the support of the Workplace Relations Commission and then the Labour Court? Also there is a precedent in Tesco that all Labour Court Recommendations on collective issues are accepted so why are Mandate diverging from that? The Labour Court explicitly recognised the change in Tesco’s business in its Recommendation
    • Tesco has not acted unilaterally, we have fully observed the industrial relations process at every step and we have always been clear on our commitment to pay fair and generous compensation for these changes which introduce limited flexibility by way of new terms and conditions recommended by Labour Court to help us improve customer service in a very competitive market.

Labour Court Recommendation:

The pre-1996 terms and conditions were agreed over 21 years ago before late nights, Sunday openings and online shopping.  We want to improve our customer service but these terms and conditions are no longer suitable as we have too many people working during the earlier quieter times of the week and this creates unfairness between colleagues. We have always said that we will compensate colleagues for this change. 

 Labour Court Recommendation

  • Rate of pay is protected 
  • Premiums paid in line with everyone else
  • 5% share bonus has been protected
  • 2/3 guaranteed overtime is protected
  • Sundays continue to be voluntary 
  • Partial flexibility 2 days out of 5  
  • In event of loss of income, compensation paid at 2 times or 2.5 times annual loss depending on option
  • Goodwill gesture of €2,000 or €3,000 depending on option to all affected colleagues

For colleagues who do not want to opt for the above there is a voluntary redundancy of 5 weeks per year uncapped. The average pay out to date is €105,000.