Tesco plans to lose 1,200 well-paid employees, TD claims

Firm intends to bypass union and impose 15% pay cut in ‘Project Black’, says Joan Collins

Customers leave a Tesco branch in London. Joan Collins said Tesco made an estimated annual profit of €200m-€250m in the State. Photograph:  Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Customers leave a Tesco branch in London. Joan Collins said Tesco made an estimated annual profit of €200m-€250m in the State. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

 

Supermarket giant Tesco aims to get rid of 1,200 of the most secure and well-paid jobs in the company in Ireland, it has been claimed.

Independents4Change TD Joan Collins said Tesco had decided to bypass its workers’ union Mandate and unilaterally impose a pay cut of more than 15 per cent “in addition to an attack on terms and conditions for the company’s longest-serving workers”.

She claimed the supermarket was engaging in “union-busting activities” as part of a broader plan called “Project Black” to get rid of 1,200 long-serving secure and well-paid workers.

The Dublin South-Central TD said the firm aimed to “bully its workers, trying to turn them against one another and disciplining those who speak out” which was unnecessary because “Tesco is no pauper”.

Ms Collins said Tesco made an estimated annual profit of €200 million-€250 million in the State and was about to purchase food wholesale company Booker for £3.7 billion and “it plans to pay dividends to shareholders at the same time that it imposes cuts on workers”.

Tesco is Ireland’s largest private employer with 11,000 workers and 10 per cent of its staff receive family income supplement.

She called on the Government to condemn Tesco’s actions and defend the rights of workers to be represented in their workplace.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald insisted that “workers have a right to be consulted on any change in their contract”.

Ms Fitzgerald said “that goes without saying – it is a basic principle and we want to see that observed”.

She added that “in this country we have the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. Clearly we would want to see these mechanisms being used to the full” in the Tesco situation.