Mandate Trade Union has written to Tesco Ireland management calling for a National Forum Meeting to take place as soon as possible.
In recent weeks a Tesco European Works Council (EWC) meeting took place without any representatives from the Republic of Ireland.
Mandate’s Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said that it is imperitive that Irish workers are represented when determining their workers’ future at all levels within the company.
“For some unknown reason the two Irish representatives were prevented at the last minute from attending the EWC meeting held in early October,” Said Mr Light.
He added, “In recent years Tesco Ireland has repeatedly undermined the rights of their own workers and refused to engage with their representatives for collective bargaining purposes. This latest action seems to be an extension of the way the company are treating its workers and their union here in Ireland.”
In a letter to the company Mr Light pointed out that the whole European Works Council process is undermined if Irish workers are denied a voice.
“Our agreed information and consultation framework places the National Forum as an integral part of the Tesco corporate colleague consultation model in that it is intended to feed into the EWC and clearly in its absence the work of the EWC is undermined and devalued.”
He continued, “A priority for the National Forum must be that such an unfortunate situation is rectified without undue delay given that the formal EWC agreement clearly states ‘…National and local information and consultation shall take priority…’”
Mr Light believes Tesco’s response to this request for a National Forum meeting will illustrate the company’s intentions towards their own workforce.
“If they do not respond in the positive to our request for a National Forum Meeting, all Tesco workers will have to question why. If, as suggested by many politicians in the Dail, Tesco is organising a campaign of union de-recognition, then clearly they will refuse a meeting. However, if they respond in a positive fashion, we believe it could be an indication that the company are prepared to engage in orderly industrial relations within Tesco Ireland in accordance with their obligations under existing collective agreements and the law.”
Read the full letter to Tesco by clicking here.