Mandate Trade Union has written to Tesco Ireland for the fourth time today seeking confirmation that workers are free to go home.
The letter follows a statement from Tesco, which said:
“All stores in Tesco Ireland have now closed due to Hurricane Ophelia. We thank all our colleagues today who did their best to serve customers in the few hours this morning before the storm hit. We will reopen once it is safe to do so. We hope everyone stays safe today.”
However, Mandate is receiving reports that workers have been told they will not be paid if they go home and are now working behind closed doors. Other workers are being told that their stores are only closed until 5pm.
In a letter to Tesco, Gerry Light, Mandate Trade Union Assistant General Secretary said:
“We have just received reports from indirect sources that Tesco Ireland has taken a decision to close all stores due to the dangerous weather conditions. Whilst this development coming late as it does is to be welcomed it is regrettable to say the least that management did not see fit to directly inform Mandate Trade Union.
“Following this recent development we are now receiving reports that some of our members are being detained to work behind closed doors and in the event that they go home they are being told they will not be paid. Once again I am calling on the Company to confirm that neither of these practices are being applied or indeed that none of our members will suffer any disadvantage or negative outcomes as a result of the blanket closure of stores.”
Mandate is calling on Tesco to:
- Ensure all workers can go home until Hurricane Ophelia has passed.
- Ensure no worker is out of pocket for returning to the safety of their homes.
- Provide all workers with safe travel arrangements (public transport is no longer operating).
Mr Light concluded:
“Tesco shouldn’t have put their worker’s health and safety on the line this morning. The very least management can do is to ensure that every worker is safe and is not out of pocket for the irresponsible behaviour of the Company.”
Some of the retail outlets that have closed their businesses until Ophelia passes:
- Dunnes Stores
- Marks & Spencer
- Supervalu MOPI
- Brown Thomas
- Supervalu Pettitts
- Garveys (Kerry)
- Caulfields Supervalu
- Boots Ireland