Union condemns downgrading of canteen facilities

Mr Frank Timmins
Head of Employee Relations
Tesco Ireland
Gresham House
Marine Road
Dun Laoghaire
Co Dublin

8 October 2018

RE:  Staff Canteen/Restaurant Facilities

 

Dear Mr Timmins

I am writing to express in the strongest terms possible the disapproval of our members at the downgrading of canteen/staff restaurant facilities in certain stores over the past number of weeks.

In the eyes of our members these facilities constitute a well-established term and condition of employment and the unilateral decision to downgrade existing facilities is totally unacceptable.

I understand that the disquiet being expressed by our members has manifested itself through petitions being presented to local management in some of the locations where the regressive changes have taken place. It has also been reported that many of the members who have attested to these petitions have been subjected to subsequent intimidating behaviour by the management team.

The decision to downgrade the staff canteens/restaurants and the manner in which it is being done only serves to prove in a tangible way to our members, a desire by their employer to remove without proper consultation and agreement certain aspects of their current terms and conditions of employment. Of course they are acutely aware that further attacks of this nature are more likely in the absence of a strong trade union to defend their interests and such a scenario they are not prepared to contemplate.

Please confirm by immediate return agreement by the company to meet with the union to discuss the future plans for staff canteens/restaurant facilities. A refusal to so engage or an attempt to ignore our request will be viewed and relied upon as yet another example of Tesco Ireland’s refusal to meaningfully comply with its obligations contained in collective agreement a tactic which we contend is in furtherance of the overall objective to derecognise Mandate Trade Union.

Yours sincerely

For Mandate

Gerry Light                                                

Assistant General Secretary      

Over 150 Mandate activists in Tesco send a clear message to new Tesco Ireland CEO, Kari Daniels

3 October 2018

 

Ms Kari Daniels
CEO
Tesco Ireland
Gresham House
Marine Road
Dun Laoghaire
Co Dublin



Dear Ms Daniels

Following a recent national meeting of Tesco Ireland local union representatives we the undersigned are calling on you in your capacity of the new CEO of Tesco Ireland to address the following.

That our employer, Tesco Ireland, immediately reaffirms in both word and deed its commitment to fully honour all obligations contained in the various collective agreements negotiated with our union over the past 30 years.

The reason we are making this request is because over the last two years in particular we and our fellow union members firmly believe the actions of the Company have been designed to achieve the opposite. It is our further belief that the continuation of such an approach is having a detrimental impact on staff morale and consequently the ability of the Irish business to reach its full potential.

In a recent national survey of union members employed in Tesco Ireland 96% of respondents declared a desire for their employer to fully engage with their union on both individual and collective issues.  It is based on this declaration and also our daily interactions with fellow union members that the attendees at our recent national meeting took a decision to adopt a clear plan in order to firmly oppose and resist the manner in which our employer has treated us and our union in the recent past.

It is our genuine desire for orderly and constructive industrial relations to return to Tesco Ireland and we firmly believe this can be achieved without any further disruption to the business, after all this is in the best interests of all concerned.

In conclusion we contend that there is a better and more mutually productive way of dealing with industrial relations in Tesco Ireland and we sincerely ask that you bring your influence to bear as the new CEO to help finding a pathway towards it.

Yours sincerely

Mandate Trade Union Activists
(Letter signed by over 150 Mandate activists and shop stewards in Tesco)


Tesco Workers Together Update – Tuesday, 17th July 2018

Mandate Trade Union Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light gives an update on the Tesco Workers Together campaign:

“Hello, I wanted to talk to you following the recent announcement by Tesco Ireland to award a 2% pay increase. Of course everybody welcomes a pay increase, why wouldn’t you, but I am urging you to stop for a moment to look beyond this headline good news and consider the potential future dangers arising from the manner by which your employer has decided to pay the increase.

This decision was taken having total disregard to a claim by your union made on the 29th May that sought a 3% not a 2% pay increase along with a call for better weekly hours and more full time jobs. Importantly our claim also looked for the introduction of a mechanism to bring about greater pay equality. Pay equality means we want to move those on the lower points of the payscale closer to those on the top. After all in the main you do the same job so why shouldn’t that reality be reflected in your pay. Now, clearly a stand-alone offer of 2% falls far short of satisfying this and the other parts of the pay and benefits claim made on your behalf.

Because Tesco decided to ignore your claim we have now sent it to the Workplace Relations Commission for their attention meaning that your union with your support has no intention of giving up in attempting to deliver the best deal possible for you and your fellow members. By ignoring you and your union in this fashion the company is clearly setting out a model for industrial relations into the future and it does not involve giving you the workers a democratic say in determining what your pay and benefits will look like. They will tell you how much you will get and when you will get it. Significantly, they will apply the same model when entitlements are either reduced or removed.

Of course the real threat not only lies in the type of substandard company offers that might be imposed in the future but you must also look to how best to protect your current terms and conditions of employment many of which were created in the past through collective agreement with your union, such as the important 2006 banded hours agreement which today protects your weekly hours. Make no mistake about it at a time of their choosing when they believe they have turned sufficient numbers of workers against and out of the union the company will move to attack these hard won entitlements. We are already seeing evidence of this in certain stores where post 1996 workers are being targeted especially in relation to their established working patterns.

Of course the long standing struggle of pre 96 union members continues and at a recent general meeting over 140 of them gathered to renew their commitment to fight for a satisfactory resolution to their dispute. Importantly they unanimously supported our pay equality claim both in respect of themselves and all their fellow union members working in Tesco.

After many false dawns and failed attempts by others including the Labour Court to get Tesco to engage with your union the time has now come to declare a halt to the type of unacceptable and dangerous behaviour being pursued by your employer. However, we can only do this as one voice acting collectively in a determined fashion. Over the coming weeks we will be highlighting in greater detail the extent by which your employer is and has been advancing its anti-union agenda. In this regard I would urge you to read the next edition of our union newspaper Shopfloor which is due out in the coming days. In September of this year a national Tesco activists meeting is being convened to consider and endorse a campaign of resistance against the way Tesco is treating you and your union.

Critically only you, the members of the union, have the power to fight back and make real and positive change happen for all. I urge you don’t waste the opportunity to use this power when it presents itself in the coming weeks and months and more importantly don’t leave it too late to take whatever action is necessary to defend your interests, and remember TOGETHER WE ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE STRONGER.”

All Tesco stores to remain closed today due to Storm Emma

Mandate Trade Union has welcomed Tesco’s confirmation that all stores in the Republic of Ireland will remain closed today (Friday, 2nd March 2018) due to the dangerous weather.

The company says it intends to open stores tomorrow, Saturday 3rd March.

It is important that workers’ health and safety remains a priority for all retail outlets in Ireland during the course of this passing storm.

Mandate would like to remind all Tesco workers of to take the Tesco Workers Together survey if they haven’t already done so. Please click this link for more.

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Labour Court Recommendations issued

14th February 2018

TO:  ALL MANDATE MEMBERS EMPLOYED IN TESCO IRELAND

RE: UPDATE ON LABOUR COURT RECOMMENDATIONS

Dear member

The following is a quick update following our last communication to you regarding the Labour Court hearings held on the 29th January 2017.

The Labour Court has now issued its recommendations in respect of both cases that were referred by your Union.

Having regard to the totality of the case presented to them the Court has decided to focus its findings on the general relationship that currently exists between your Union and Tesco Ireland. As you are aware the state of this relationship has deteriorated greatly over the past 12 months in particular. In recognition of this indisputable fact the Court has recommended the Union and the Company should engage over the next 12 weeks in an effort to repair the damaged relationship for the good of all concerned.

Your Union is supportive of the Court’s recommendation and we have now written to the Company in order to determine whether they are agreeable to engage along the lines envisaged by the Court. There can be no doubt that everybody working in the Tesco Ireland business would benefit greatly from an improvement in the overall relationship between the Union and the Company.

This is something our members clearly want and proof of this is reflected in the initial responses to our Tesco Ireland membership survey that was launched last week where so far nearly 98% of respondents have declared a desire for their employer to deal directly with their Union on individual and collective matters.

Your Union is prepared to make a genuine effort to meaningfully engage with the Company however we must now await a response from senior management to see if they are agreeable to proceed in accordance with the terms recommended by the Labour Court.

As always you will be appraised of any developments as they happen

DON’T FORGET IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY PLEASE TAKE THE TESCO IRELAND 2018 MEMBERSHIP SURVEY THROUGH THIS LINK.


The two Labour Court Recommendations are available below:

Tesco – Labour Court Recommendation No. LCR21654

Tesco – Labour Court Recommendation No. LCR21655

Tesco workers 2018 survey launched

Mandate Trade Union has launched the Tesco Workers Together Survey 2018 today in order to give members in Tesco Ireland a strong, independent and powerful voice at work.

This survey is now an important annual event for all Tesco Ireland workers and allows you through your Union formulate claims which seek to improve your terms and conditions at work.

It is important that all Mandate members in Tesco Ireland take 5 minutes to complete this survey. Have your say on your future at work today by clicking here.

The results of last year’s survey, which was completed by thousands of workers in Tesco Ireland, enabled your union to process the following claim with the company, and subsequently the Labour Court:

  • A 3% wage increase for 2017
  • An additional 500 full time jobs
  • A wage increase weighted in favour of those on the lower hourly rates of pay
  • A review of current weekly hours

We are currently awaiting a recommendation from the Labour Court on these matters.

The Tesco Workers Together campaign was founded in 2016 in order to bring all Tesco Ireland workers in Ireland together for the betterment of all. The primary motives of the campaign are to ensure that no Tesco Ireland worker can have their terms and conditions deteriorated by the company without their agreement, and also to lift the working conditions of all workers in Tesco Ireland.

Tesco Ireland is one of the largest private sector employers in the country, controlling almost €1 in every €4 spent on groceries and with estimated profits in the region of €250 million per year.

Much of the success of Tesco Ireland is down to its workers, and we believe you and your fellow Union members, as valuable contributors to that success, should share in the benefits as much as possible.

NOW MORE THAN EVER IS NOT THE TIME TO REMAIN SILENT, HAVE YOUR SAY, TAKE THE SURVEY TODAY AND ALWAYS REMEMBER, TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER

Please complete the survey by clicking here.

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NOTE: If you have received this communication in error and do not wish to be contacted by Mandate Trade Union again, please email mandate@mandate.ie.

Tesco workers’ case is heard by Labour Court

The Labour Court heard this morning (Monday, January 29th) from both Mandate & Siptu Trade Unions and Tesco Ireland management in relation to two outstanding claims made by the Unions on behalf of their members employed in Tesco Ireland.

The two cases include:

Claim 1

  • A 3% wage increase for 2017
  • An additional 500 full time jobs
  • A wage increase weighted in favour of those on the lower hourly rates of pay
  • A review of current weekly hours

Claim 2

  • A claim for outstanding pay increases for pre-1996 staff that have already been paid to all other staff in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The Court has now entered into deliberations and their recommendation is expected in the coming weeks. All Mandate & Siptu members working in Tesco will be informed of the outcome as soon as it is available.

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