Tesco Ireland has called on Mandate trade union to accept the Labour Court’s recommendation on changes to pre-1996 terms and conditions, which affect less than 280 people out of a 14,500 strong workforce.
"There is an onus on Mandate to abide by the outcomes of the Labour Court and we are shocked that Mandate has rejected the Recommendation which the Union had sought," Tesco said in a statement.
"Mandate are misguiding our colleagues by suggesting that there are other alternatives to the Labour Court Recommendation. Our business must be able to meet the needs of our customers.
"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.
"Tesco has always accepted Labour Court Recommendations on issues covered by the collective agreement and calls on Mandate to do so now. Mandate’s rejection of the Recommendation has come despite the Court offering a clear and generous resolution.
"The Labour Court Recommendation was beyond what we believed was affordable but in the spirit of reaching agreement and re-positioning our business in the challenging retail market, Tesco accepted it. The Recommendation followed a year of discussions including hundreds of hours in the Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court.
"From the outset of discussions over a year ago, we were clear on the need to make this change: the pre-1996 terms and conditions were agreed over 21 years ago before late nights, Sunday openings and online shopping.
"We want to improve our customer service but these terms are no longer suitable as we have too many people working during the earlier quieter times of the week and this also creates unfairness between colleagues. We have always said that we will compensate colleagues for this change.
"Tesco is calling on Mandate to accept the Labour Court Recommendation as we have now exhausted the Industrial Relations mechanisms of the State."
Labour Court Recommendation