Tesco staff in Ireland to strike over pay dispute

TescoTesco employees in the Republic of Ireland who are members of the trade union Mandate are to strike in a dispute over changes to pay and conditions.

The strike action will commence at 7.00am on 16 May 2016, with pickets planned for more than 70 Tesco outlets.

The industrial action is in response to pay cuts and changes to employment conditions for up to 300 members of staff.

According to the union, the planned changes include a 15%-35% pay cut for staff that joined the retailer before 1996, reduced overtime hours, cuts to Sunday and unsociable hour premiums from double pay to time and a half, a reduction in the annual bonus, and a change to rosters.

In a ballot among Mandate members that will be affected by the changes, 99% of those who took part voted in favour of industrial action. In a separate ballot, 88% of Mandate members in pre-1996 stores unaffected by the changes voted in support of industrial action.

According to Mandate, the strike will be held off if Tesco agrees to withdraw the proposed pay changes or to attend the Labour Court for a hearing on the disputed matters.

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Gerry Light, assistant general secretary at Mandate Trade Union, said: “Tesco management are forcing changes to contracts for workers employed before 1996. These changes will seriously undermine living standards for our members who have mortgages and other commitments that were made on the back of their conditions of employment over the last 20-30 years.”

Tesco had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.