Tesco staff in seven more stores vote against strike action

Management ‘shocked’ over Mandate’s refusal to call off ‘reckless disupte’

Only one store voted in favour of strike action at Tuesday’s ballot. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Only one store voted in favour of strike action at Tuesday’s ballot. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Tesco has said it is “shocked” at Mandate’s refusal to call off its “reckless dispute” as a further seven stores voted against joining the picket line on Tuesday night.

All told, there were eight “supportive ballots” held on Tuesday night but only one store - Sandymount in Dublin - voted in favour of strike action. There are currently pickets on 16 stores with five more set to go on strike from next Monday.

“This means that Mandate’s call to strike has now been rejected in 50 per cent of stores that have so far voted with the heaviest losses happening over the last two nights,” a Tesco spokeswoman said.

Tesco has re-iterated its call on Mandate “to urgently re-think its divisive strike after the results of these ballots raise serious questions about the mandate that the union is obtaining for its unnecessary action. Mandate’s strike plan is not being endorsed as is shown not just by tonight’s results but also by the increasing number of colleagues crossing picket lines to return to work.”

However Mandate said supportive ballots in other stores would continue next week and said that “No doubt this” intense pressure by management had an impact on the votes of some workers”.

The strike centres around what the Mandate union says is an attempt by Tesco management to enforce contract changes which will see the wages of staff recruited before 1996 fall by more than 15 per cent.

Tesco has repeatedly denied this and says it needs to make changes to contracts to reflect an altered retail environment which now includes late-night and online shopping as well as Sunday openings.

It says only a very small number of staff will see contract changes and promised that they will not lose out financially.