Tesco in Carrick-on-Shannon says it will open the store and continue to conduct business despite a staff strike planned for Saturday, December 22.
Mandate Trade Union members at Carrick-on-Shannon and Sligo Tesco stores voted strongly for industrial action this week, with Carrick staff picking Saturday, December 22, to down tools for “maximum impact.”
Ciaran Campbell of Mandate told the paper that the union is “very close to 100% membership” at the Carrick store, so Tesco will need to transport management from other stores to open during the planned picket. The local staff are asking customers to respect the picket line and not cross it.
Tesco has called on Mandate to abide by procedures and to immediately withdraw its strike notices for Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon.
Mr Campbell said Tesco's “war of words” has angered local staff and there is a threat of further strike days.
Tesco workers in Carrick-on Shannon and Sligo voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action claiming the company “continues to breach agreements and deny workers their right to collective representation.”
Ciaran Campbell said while issues are “local” they may be “contagious.” He said some grievances go back over two years. He claims Tesco are not following procedure and “are determined to continue with their de-unionisation plan, Project Black.”
Mr Campbell said some issues in the Carrick store are over two years old.
However in a statement to the Leitrim Observer, Tesco is calling on Mandate to call off its one-day strike threats in the two stores as they are “in breach of the company and union’s agreed procedures which are to refer disputes to the Workplace Relations Commission.”
According to the Tesco spokesperson, “If Mandate proceeds with the proposed unwarranted one-day strike actions for the two stores, both will continue to remain open to serve customers. We regret that Mandate is inflicting this inconvenience on our customers in December when our stores are at their busiest and particularly given these stores are close to the Border.”
Tesco says it has always abided by agreed procedures and they expect Mandate to do the same.
Carrick-on-Shannon had an 85% turnout, with 81% voting in favour of strike. Mandate said, “There is a possibility more dates will be added and other stores may join their colleagues in the coming weeks and months should the company not abide by agreements and allow their workers their right to collective representation.”
According to the union, Tesco “have refused to engage with their workers on pay and conditions of employment, on the removal of canteens and break room facilities, they have refused to pay some workers a cost of living pay increase for four consecutive years, and, crucially, they have breached collective agreements which they freely entered into with their workers.”
The union believes industrial action could spread to the other 150 Tesco stores throughout the country.
Tesco however says it continues to offer the best pay and benefits in the sector and are proud to continue to receive official accreditation as a 'Great Place to Work.'