Over 70% of long-serving Tesco staff accept redundancy offer
About 300 pre-1996 workers who do not want redundancy must enter new contracts
Tesco, which is the largest private sector employer in the State, has 14,500 staff in 149 stores. It is seeking to bring long-service employees’ pay and conditions into line with the rest of its workers. File photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters
Seven hundred of Tesco’s longest-serving workers have accepted an offer of voluntary redundancy amid a dispute at the retailer over reductions in these workers’ terms and conditions.
About 300 workers who are on pre-1996 contracts but do not want to take up voluntary redundancy can continue to work for the retail chain, but only on new contracts.
A spokeswoman said these workers will be paid compensation of 2.5 times their annual loss of income.
Tesco, which is the largest private sector employer in the State, has 14,500 staff in 149 stores.
It is seeking to bring long-service employees’ pay and conditions into line with the rest of its workers.
The 1,000 long-serving staff at Tesco had voted overwhelmingly on Friday for strike action over the company’s plans.
The dispute centres on proposals by Tesco to move staff employed before 1996 to a different contract introduced for personnel taken on after that date.
The pre-1996 contract involves higher rates of pay and better conditions than those set out in the subsequent contract.
“In the course of discussions on our proposals to move colleagues working on the pre-1996 contract to our main employment contract, following requests from colleagues we agreed to open up a voluntary redundancy scheme offering 5 weeks per year of service uncapped,” the Tesco spokeswoman said.
“Feedback from our colleagues was that the voluntary redundancy offer was generous and fair,” she stated. “Over 70 per cent of our pre-1996 colleagues have now accepted voluntary redundancy.”
Last week Tesco said that in the event of people choosing to leave the business through voluntary redundancy, where extra hours to cover certain responsibilities become available, Tesco would give them to existing colleagues.