LATEST: Union makes 11th-hour call for talks to avert Tesco strike

Update 8.20pm: The Mandate Trade Union has called on Tesco to enter talks, on the eve of tomorrow's strike.

Workers at eight Tesco stores - in Tralee, Longford, Navan, Tullamore, Bray and three Dublin stores - are going on an indefinite strike in a row over contracts for some long-standing staff, with more to follow.

Tesco is calling on workers to accept a Labour Court recommendation.

The union's Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light says the strike could be called off "if Tesco Ireland agrees to operate on the basis of making changes to workers’ contracts through agreement".

In a statement, Mr Light said: "Instead of talking to its staff, we understand that Tesco is preparing to spend tens of thousands of euros on full-page advertisements in tomorrow’s newspapers.

"However, despite Tesco’s highhanded behaviour our offer to sort out the issues in this dispute still stands. Let’s get into talks and resolve the issues involved," he added.

Update 1.03pm: Tesco has criticised the call by Mandate this morning for customers to shop in competitor supermarkets, saying that staff in Sligo and Ballina have rejected the call for strike action.

The dispute resolves around attempts by Tesco to change the contracts of its longest-serving staff without agreement.

“The suggestion by Mandate this morning that shoppers should stop shopping altogether is equally absurd and highlights their removal from the reality of the retail marketplace,” the retailer said in a statement.

“Tesco calls on Mandate to accept the Labour Court Recommendation which affect 250 of the 14,500 colleagues in Tesco.

“It remains as the means to resolving the dispute which affects only a small number of staff and the indefinite strike is disproportionate action for Mandate’s other members in the company.”

Tesco stores will be open tomorrow for business as usual, the retailer said.

Earlier:

A union representing Tesco workers says it will call off a planned strike if the company commits to not changing workers' contracts without agreement.

Nine Tesco stores across the country are due to strike tomorrow in a row over proposed wage cuts affecting 250 workers employed for over 20 years.

A further nine stores will strike from Friday.


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General Secretary of Mandate, John Douglas, says strike action can still be avoided.

"We're asking Tesco to give a commitment that they will not introduce savage cuts to the 250 remaining workers within the company unless they reach agreement with those workers and their trade union," he said.

"And if the company gives a commitment that those savage cuts will not be implemented without agreement, well then there's actually no need for us to be in dispute."


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