Planned Tesco strike suspended to allow for new talks

Management defers plans to change terms and conditions of longer-serving staff

Tesco management has deferred the implementation of changes to terms and conditions of some employees to allow for talks.

Tesco management has deferred the implementation of changes to terms and conditions of some employees to allow for talks.

 

A strike at 70 Tesco stores across the country, scheduled to commence on Monday, has been suspended pending further talks next week at the Workplace Relations Commission.

Management at Tesco has also deferred the implementation of controversial changes to terms and conditions of longer serving employees to allow for the planned new talks.

The dispute centres on what the trade union Mandate has said are unilateral moves by management at the company to worsen the terms and conditions of personnel who were recruited prior to 1996.

The company is seeking to move staff employed before 1996 to a contract introduced for personnel taken on after that date. Mandate said that this would involve changes to workers’ conditions of employment including:

– 15-35 per cent pay cuts.

– reduction of overtime.

– cuts to Sunday and unsociable hours premiums from double pay to time and a half.

– a reduction in the annual bonus.

– changes to rosters.

Tesco has said previously that 70 per cent of staff employed before 1996 had agreed to accept a recent offer of voluntary redundancy.

This involved payment of 5 weeks per year of service uncapped. For pre-1996 staff who did not opt for redundancy, Tesco said it would pay compensation equal to 2.5 times the annual loss of income experienced by moving to the new contract.

It is understood there are about 300 staff who were taken on prior to 1996 still on the payroll at Tesco and who would be affected by the company’s planned moves.

In a statement on Thursday, Tesco said: “Earlier today the Workplace Relations Commission extended an invitation to Tesco and the trade unions to attend a third conciliation meeting next Wednesday to try to reach agreement on the terms for the proposed changes to our pre-1996 contract (pre-1997 in Siptu stores). “

“We have accepted this invite and we understand that the trade unions have as well. On this basis, and in the spirit of constructive discussions, we will defer our plan to implement the proposed changes on Monday 16th May. Mandate has agreed to suspend their planned industrial action for Monday and our stores will operate as normal on Monday.”