STRIKE ON AT VEVAY TESCO

Shop stays open as in­def­i­nite strike starts and Grey­stones ex­pected to join on Fri­day

Bray People - - FRONT PAGE - By MARY FOGARTY

STRIKE ac­tion be­gan at Tesco in Bray yes­ter­day morn­ing at 7 a.m. The Vevay Road store was one of eight around the coun­try to vote to start ac­tion on St Valen­tine’s Day.

While the shop re­mains open, the usu­ally busy car park re­mained ex­tremely quiet and hardly any­one en­tered the store dur­ing around 90 min­utes the Bray Peo­ple was on site up to around 9 a.m. on Tues­day. The Man­date Trade Union work­ers are en­gag­ing in an in­def­i­nite strike in a dis­pute over con­tracts.

The su­per­mar­ket wants to move 250 staff re­cruited be­fore 1996 to dif­fer­ent con­tracts. Man­date says that the change would ad­versely af­fect work­ers in terms of pay and con­di­tions. Tesco said that the con­tracts do not ac­count for the growth of night, week­end and on­line shop­ping.

STAFF from Tesco on the Vevay Road braved the el­e­ments yes­ter­day morn­ing for the start of their in­def­i­nite strike ac­tion.

The Bray store was one of eight to mount pick­ets from 7 a.m. with Man­date trade union work­ers en­gag­ing in an in­def­i­nite strike in a dis­pute over con­tracts.

The su­per­mar­ket wants to move 250 staff re­cruited be­fore 1996 onto dif­fer­ent con­tracts. Man­date says that the change would ad­versely af­fect work­ers in terms of both pay and con­di­tions.

Other stores, in­clud­ing Grey­stones, are set to join the strike on Fri­day.

The shop re­mained open in Bray yes­ter­day morn­ing, with staff pick­et­ing the main en­trance.

Some mo­torists sounded their horns as they passed the protest. The oc­ca­sional mo­torist driv­ing past the picket would roll down their win­dows and ex­plain that they were go­ing to Costa for cof­fee or to the chemist, rather than into the su­per­mar­ket.

Union of­fi­cials said that by around 9 a.m. on Tues­day, very few peo­ple had gone into the su­per­mar­ket it­self.

Last year, Tesco wanted around 1,000 staff re­cruited be­fore 1996 to trans­fer to a less favourable con­tract which has ap­plied to all staff hired since then. Around 700 took re­dun­dancy but 250 staff con­tinue to re­sist the move and have re­jected a Labour Court rec­om­men­da­tion on the row.

Tesco in­sists af­fected stores will re­main open and has urged Man­date to ac­cept the Labour Court rec­om­men­da­tion.

‘ Terms and con­di­tions nearly quar­ter of a cen­tury old do not take ac­count of the growth of late night, week­end and on­line shop­ping and cre­ate un­fair­ness as hours are not evenly spread out,’ they said in a state­ment.

‘ Tesco is the only em­ployer in the food re­tail sec­tor to recog­nise trade unions, of­fer­ing above mar­ket rates of pay, con­di­tions, ben­e­fits and ca­reers. We op­er­ate in an in­tensely com­pet­i­tive mar­ket against non-unionised re­tail­ers who Man­date does not at­tack,’ they added.

‘We are go­ing to win,’ said Man­date rep­re­sen­ta­tive Keith Pol­lard. He added that while they had to picket at the front en­trance, rather than on Tesco grounds, the union had no wish to af­fect the other busi­nesses on the site.

Michael Mee­gan, di­vi­sional or­gan­iser for Man­date Trade Union said that the vast ma­jor­ity of Bray staff were pick­et­ing.

‘ There was a huge vote in the Bray store. At least 90 per cent voted in favour of the strike, with an 80 per cent turnout,’ he said.

‘We’re just ask­ing Tesco to com­mit to not chang­ing the con­tracts of the pre-1996 peo­ple with­out con­sul­ta­tion,’ said Michael. ‘ That’s all they have to do and this strike will be called off.’

Tesco work­ers on strike out­side the Vevay Road store in Bray yes­ter­day (Tues­day) morn­ing.

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