Wednesday 29 April 2009

Mandate Trade Union claimed today that management in Tesco in Douglas, Cork has threatened staff with a lockout until June. The Douglas staff began an official strike starting today (29 April 2009) due to the company ignoring long standing agreements with their Trade Union, Mandate.

According to Mandate, management in Tesco called small meetings with their staff members yesterday which had the result of intimidating their workers in advance of the strike.
Mandate Assistant General Secretary, Linda Tanham said, “We had some very young staff members coming to us in tears because of what was said to them at the company meetings yesterday. Tesco’s behaviour shows disregard for their staff members and their democratic right to protest at the erosion of their terms and conditions. Workers said they felt isolated and put under enormous stress and duress.”
Mandate said that management told workers that if they go on strike today, the store would remain closed until June and they wouldn’t receive any pay until then.
Ms Tanham said, “Tesco’s actions are both regrettable and disappointing. This is an official strike and was voted for democratically by our members. However, yesterday Tesco told staff that due to the stress levels they have been under, it would be perfectly acceptable to ring in sick today and they would be fully paid. This was clearly an attempt to break the picket line and staff members have recognised this fact and are angry at the company for it.
Tesco has brought in managers from around the country to operate the store while the picket is in place. Mandate claims that the dispute can be resolved as soon as the company recognises all agreements put in place between the company and the trade union.
Ms Tanham said, “This dispute is easily resolved by the company accepting the previous agreements in place with Mandate. The opening of a new store always allows for the transfer of existing staff with their terms and conditions. If this does not happen then the dispute will continue indefinitely.