Union to ballot for industrial action in Cork Tesco branch

Trade union Mandate is set to ballot for industrial action in the Douglas, Co. Cork branch of supermarket Tesco in a row over terms and conditions for workers transferring to a new store.

The vote will take place April 20, the union said in a statement.

According to Mandate, Tesco is using the transfer of workers to a new store as a means to erode terms and conditions, in breach of agreements with the union.

“The company has shown total disregard for their workers in Douglas," said Mandate’s divisional organiser in Cork, Lorraine O’Brien.

"These staff members are willing to transfer to the new store, which is basically on the same site as the current one, but only on condition that their current contracts and terms and conditions are honoured.

"Mandate and Tesco already have an agreement in place for this and it would set a dangerous precedent if Mandate did not act on this blatant undermining of procedure.”

According to Mrs O’Brien the transfer of the Douglas workers to new premises is being used opportunistically by Tesco to reduce the terms and conditions of the staff members.

“Tesco has said that the company is not willing to accept staff members from the old store who have pre-1996 contracts. Instead, the company has offered staff members a choice of either a compulsory buyout of their terms and conditions or alternatively, the worker will be dismissed by means of redundancy.”

Mandate is concerned that should Tesco proceed with these cuts in terms and conditions, the company may begin a process whereby "all negotiated contracts and agreements with the union would be ignored when it becomes appropriate for the company", the union statement said.

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