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Mandate: Tesco Engaging In A 'Crude But Deliberate Attempt' To Divide Workforce

Published on Mar 22 2016 7:51 AM

Mandate: Tesco Engaging In A 'Crude But Deliberate Attempt' To Divide Workforce

Mandate Trade Union has suggested Tesco Ireland is engaging in 'yet another crude but deliberate attempt to divide their workforce', after the retailer implemented part, but not all, of a Labour Court Recommendation regarding payments to its staff.

In a letter issued to Tesco workers last week, Mandate said that following a National Shop Stewards meeting on 13 March, the union would be commencing a national ballot for industrial action, 'only in the event that Tesco fails to honour and implement the full terms of the Labour Court Recommendation'.

On 11 March, Tesco said that was implementing part of the Labour Court Recommendation, involving a 2% pay increase to staff backdated to April 2015. It has not yet said whether it intends to implement a second part of the Recommendation, relating to the issuing of a share bonus payment.

'The company’s latest action is yet another crude but deliberate attempt to divide their workforce and we must not fall into this devious and dangerous trap,' wrote Mandate Trade Union assistant general secretary Gerry Light.

'Comments by Tesco management and letters issued to staff advising that these issues ‘don’t affect you’ are clearly designed to divide the workers. Not complying with collective agreements and forced changes to contracts effects (sic) all workers – it may not be you this time, but if we don’t stand united it could be your terms and conditions next.'

Light called on union members to use their 'collective strength to push forward on behalf of all members, for the full implementation of the Labour Court Recommendation'.

On the implementation of the Labour Court Recommendations, a Tesco spokesperson told Checkout last week: 'Our business performance has not been what we would want it to be over the last few years with sales declining by -6.3% last year and -5.5% the year before. In this context, we had to balance our wish to reward our colleagues with the need to make sensible decisions that safeguard the future of the business, in the best interests of all our colleagues and customers.

'Therefore, we announced that we are awarding a 2% pay increase to all eligible colleagues backdated from the 1st April 2015. We have taken the decision to make this 2% pay award in recognition of the contribution our colleagues make in helping to serve Ireland’s shoppers a little better every day. Tesco is currently considering the recent Labour Court recommendation on the share bonus award.'

© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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