STRIKE ON AT VEVAY TESCO
Shop stays open as indefinite strike starts and Greystones expected to join on Friday
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.