Mandate says workers in more Tesco stores have asked to be balloted next week to join strike

Union says that five additional stores have now voted to engage in industrial action from next week

The Mandate Trade Union has tonight said that it has been contacted by workers in several Tesco Ireland stores around the country to be balloted for industrial action. John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary, said that the workers in the stores concerned will be balloted next week and if they vote for industrial action they would join the strike in early March.

Mr Douglas also said that this week so far workers in a further five stores – Carlow Town, Sandymount and Bloomfield (Dublin), Ballinasloe (Galway) and Newbridge (Kildare) have voted to join the strike bringing the total number of stores who have voted to be part of the industrial action to 21. The workers in a further six stores will be balloted tomorrow evening.

John Douglas, said that tonight’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 early next week in five additional stores and will continue in the 16 stores where it is currently underway.”

John Douglas said that 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.

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

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