Further four stores agree to join Tesco strike after ballots

Twenty out of 31 stores – almost two-thirds – have now supported strike action

Last night the workers in a further four Tesco Ireland stores voted to join the strike which is taking place at the company over the attempt to unilaterally impose new contracts on long-serving staff. The stores concerned are located in Ballinasloe (Galway), Bloomfield (Dun Laoghaire, Dublin), Carlow and Newbridge (Kildare).

This means that from next Monday, 27 February, 20 out of the 31 stores balloted to date will be taking part in the strike – almost two-thirds of the stores concerned. A further 13 stores will be balloting over the next two nights with even more stores likely to be balloted in the period ahead.

Gerry Light, Mandate Assistant General Secretary, said that last night’s decision is a real act of practical solidarity by the workers concerned in the face of a lot of scare tactics used by the company including:

  • Workers would experience cuts in hours if they balloted for strike action;
  • Workers would lose Family Income Supplement should they ballot for strike;
  • Stores would close for good should the workers ballot for industrial action;
  • New staff on temporary contracts would lose their jobs if there was a strike or they were seen on strike.

“No doubt this intense pressure by management had an impact on the votes of some workers, but the union congratulates all those who withstood the pressure and balloted to protect all contracts of employment in Tesco Ireland. Nonetheless, unlike Tesco Ireland, we fully respect the democratic decisions made by all members and the strike will get underway next Monday in four additional stores as will continue in the 16 stores where it is currently underway.”

Gerry Light concluded by saying Mandate’s offer last Friday to immediately suspend the strike if the company refrained from threatening the terms and condition of staff still offers the best option for a resolution to the dispute. 

“Four days later, the company’s continued refusal to engage meaningfully with the union poses questions about ‘Project Black’ and its union busting agenda,” Gerry Light concluded.

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