Tesco update: A message from the Assistant General Secretary
TO: ALL MANDATE MEMBERS EMPLOYED IN TESCO IRELAND
RE: UPDATE ON CURRENT DISPUTE
I am writing to you and your fellow 12,000 Mandate Trade Union members in order to fully explain the current situation following the second deferral of industrial action. The decision to defer the action was not taken lightly and it was only done on the basis that your union was asked to do so by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) who have invited us back into discussions with Tesco Ireland which are scheduled to take place tomorrow Friday 27th May 2016.
I think it is true to say that these discussions are seen by all parties as a last attempt to avoid the industrial dispute going ahead and it is our consistent view that such an eventuality can only be avoided as a result of your fellow union members who are employed on pre 96 contracts voting on and accepting a set of proposals which come from either the WRC or indeed the Labour Court. Given that your union has always placed great importance on the attendance by Tesco Ireland at the WRC and the Labour Court we felt it would have been inconsistent to say the least to proceed with today’s dispute once we had received an invitation from the WRC to use their services. Having said that we also recognise the potential unease and confusion that can arise from numerous deferrals of strike action and in doing so accept that there are only a limited number of times you can do this before the dispute actually goes ahead.
As part of our discussions at the WRC we fully intend to deal with the decline in the general relationship which has developed between your union and Tesco Ireland over recent months. This reality has impacted on many issues far beyond those which are the focus of the current dispute. It is vitally important that some normality is brought back into the relationship and your union representatives are committed to work hard to make this happen. Of course whether we can achieve this or not will be largely dependent on a willingness by Tesco Ireland to bring about this outcome. There is no doubt that these broader discussions will also be heavily influenced by a unified and strong union membership who seek no more than to be treated fairly and with the dignity and respect they deserve and that is why more than ever at this crucial stage we must all understand and believe in the message of TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER. Remember, your union is not some form of third party who acts as a mediator between you and your employer. Your union is you, the members, acting together in everything you say and do to bring about positive, secure and decent working conditions for all workers employed both now and in the future by Tesco Ireland.
Assistant General Secretary
Mandate Trade Union