Dear Members, 

We are aware that Tesco Management has begun to brief Staff regarding the pending dispute. We have attached for your information the facts behind this dispute so that you are fully prepared at these briefings.

Further communications will be forwarded to all Members over the next couple of days. In the meantime, stand together with your colleagues and fellow union members against bullying and intimidation.

Yours in solidarity

For Mandate Trade Union 

John Douglas

General Secretary

Tesco     In summary we are asking colleagues to support the company against Mandate’s efforts.

FACT       The Company is trying to give the impression that Mandate is some kind of third party. Mandate is you the members and we exist to serve your interests. By choosing not to support the pre 1996 strike means that you are deciding to turn your back not only these Union members, but ultimately yourself.

TESCO    The pre 1996/97 conditions are nearly a quarter of a century old and were agreed at a time when supermarkets operated very differently.

FACT       The Company seems to be suggesting that the passage of time alone gives them the right to change the terms and conditions of its workers. If you accept this, at any time in the future at a moment of their choosing they will attack the next set of terms and conditions they deem appropriate. The key issue here is no matter what the justification behind reducing terms and conditions, the Company is attempting to bring these changes about without the agreement of the workers concerned.

TESCO    Over 12 months ago we began discussions with the Unions to find a reasonable way to make necessary business changes.

FACT       From the very start the Company’s approach was neither reasonable nor genuine. At the first meeting in January 2016 their aggressive message was that they were going to implement the changes with or without agreement. They even refused to provide the names of your fellow Union members being targeted.

TESCO    To date the average redundancy payment for pre 1996/97 colleagues has been €105,000.

FACT       This dispute is nothing to do with the people who have left rather it’s about your fellow Union members who are looking for your support in order to protect their terms and conditions of employment. The quality of the redundancy payments is because they were based on a redundancy package previously negotiated by your Union.

TESCO    Tesco accepted the Labour Court Recommendation, Mandate rejected it.

FACT       The fact is your fellow pre 1996 members have rejected the recommendation, which is their right. One of the main reasons they have now decided to vote for strike is because in accepting the Recommendation the Company immediately moved to implement certain aspects of it before our members had the opportunity of voting on it. We wrote to the Labour Court challenging the Company’s actions. The Court subsequently confirmed the Company’s behaviour was not the usual way to deal with one of its recommendations in that before any action is undertaken both parties must be given an opportunity to vote on it.

TESCO    The Labour Court has endorsed a generous package for all pre 1996/97 colleagues.

FACT       The arrogance of this statement is that the Company believes it has the sole right to determine the generosity of the Labour Court Recommendation and this goes to the heart of this long running dispute. It is your fellow Union members who will determine what is acceptable to them. Once again the Company is sending out the dangerous message that they reserve the right to tell you and your fellow Union members what is best for you without giving you a say in the matter, your wellbeing at work will be solely determined by what Tesco management decide as generous.

TESCO    We have paid a 2% pay increase for the last four years.

FACT       The impression is given that the Company paid these increases without them being sought. All of the pay increases followed a claim being served by your Union and voted on by you the members. In fact one of the increases along with a Share Bonus had to be won by your Union at the Labour Court.

TESCO    Mandate has also raised two other issues as part of their claim, equalising rates of pay and banded hours, both of which we believe we have dealt with.

FACT       Once again the Company is clearly saying that they will determine what’s best for you and your fellow Union members without you getting a chance to vote on what they are prepared to offer. If management establish this as the new way of determining your terms and conditions into the future, there is a real possibility of them taking back many of the valuable terms and conditions won by you through the years in your Union.

TESCO    Tesco offers the best rates of pay in the sector.

FACT       All these conditions were hard won by you as union members through your Union down the years. The best way to protect them into the future is through solidarity and unity amongst all Union members working in Tesco. Remember it’s the pre 96 contracts today it could be your rate of pay and weekly hours next.

TESCO    Mandate has claimed that our decision to pay this 2% pay increase has broken the collective bargaining process. It has not.

FACT       Make no mistake about it this is the biggest and most dangerous mistruth being peddled by the Company. A claim for a 3% pay increase was served by the Union on your employer in April 2016. Tesco say that your hard work deserves the increase, so why did they not pay it sooner? They paid it the day before the Unions and Tesco were due to meet to finalise pay proposals for you to vote on in order to crudely buy your support in the event of the pre 96 dispute escalating. Tesco believes that workers solidarity can be bought for 2% lets prove them wrong. They stepped outside the negotiations which were underway with your Union and made that cynical pay announcement which did not even deal with all aspects of our claim. Your Union will give you your voice in the matter as we intend to fully pursue the whole claim now and into the future.

TESCO    We need your support to protect and safeguard our business.

FACT       You and your fellow Union members need to support each in order to protect and grow your terms and conditions of employment. Remember you are the Union. Mandate cannot exist without its members and by showing the Company you are prepared to stand together we will deliver on our objective which is to give you a real say in determining your conditions of employment in the future. If we allow a culture develop that gives management the right to do this without any meaningful reference to you and your fellow members, it is then we will see the rapid escalation of the attack on your conditions of employment, the race to the bottom will surely follow.



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