Mandate seek National Forum Meeting with Tesco

Mandate Trade Union has written to Tesco Ireland management calling for a National Forum Meeting to take place as soon as possible.

In recent weeks a Tesco European Works Council (EWC) meeting took place without any representatives from the Republic of Ireland.

Mandate’s Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said that it is imperitive that Irish workers are represented when determining their workers’ future at all levels within the company.

“For some unknown reason the two Irish representatives were prevented at the last minute from attending the EWC meeting held in early October,” Said Mr Light.

He added, “In recent years Tesco Ireland has repeatedly undermined the rights of their own workers and refused to engage with their representatives for collective bargaining purposes. This latest action seems to be an extension of the way the company are treating its workers and their union here in Ireland.”

In a letter to the company Mr Light pointed out that the whole European Works Council process is undermined if Irish workers are denied a voice.

“Our agreed information and consultation framework places the National Forum as an integral part of the Tesco corporate colleague consultation model in that it is intended to feed into the EWC and clearly in its absence the work of the EWC is undermined and devalued.”

He continued, “A priority for the National Forum must be that such an unfortunate situation is rectified without undue delay given that the formal EWC agreement clearly states ‘…National and local information and consultation shall take priority…’”

Mr Light believes Tesco’s response to this request for a National Forum meeting will illustrate the company’s intentions towards their own workforce.

“If they do not respond in the positive to our request for a National Forum Meeting, all Tesco workers will have to question why. If, as suggested by many politicians in the Dail, Tesco is organising a campaign of union de-recognition, then clearly they will refuse a meeting. However, if they respond in a positive fashion, we believe it could be an indication that the company are prepared to engage in orderly industrial relations within Tesco Ireland in accordance with their obligations under existing collective agreements and the law.”

Read the full letter to Tesco by clicking here.

Union condemns downgrading of canteen facilities

Mr Frank Timmins
Head of Employee Relations
Tesco Ireland
Gresham House
Marine Road
Dun Laoghaire
Co Dublin

8 October 2018

RE:  Staff Canteen/Restaurant Facilities


Dear Mr Timmins

I am writing to express in the strongest terms possible the disapproval of our members at the downgrading of canteen/staff restaurant facilities in certain stores over the past number of weeks.

In the eyes of our members these facilities constitute a well-established term and condition of employment and the unilateral decision to downgrade existing facilities is totally unacceptable.

I understand that the disquiet being expressed by our members has manifested itself through petitions being presented to local management in some of the locations where the regressive changes have taken place. It has also been reported that many of the members who have attested to these petitions have been subjected to subsequent intimidating behaviour by the management team.

The decision to downgrade the staff canteens/restaurants and the manner in which it is being done only serves to prove in a tangible way to our members, a desire by their employer to remove without proper consultation and agreement certain aspects of their current terms and conditions of employment. Of course they are acutely aware that further attacks of this nature are more likely in the absence of a strong trade union to defend their interests and such a scenario they are not prepared to contemplate.

Please confirm by immediate return agreement by the company to meet with the union to discuss the future plans for staff canteens/restaurant facilities. A refusal to so engage or an attempt to ignore our request will be viewed and relied upon as yet another example of Tesco Ireland’s refusal to meaningfully comply with its obligations contained in collective agreement a tactic which we contend is in furtherance of the overall objective to derecognise Mandate Trade Union.

Yours sincerely

For Mandate

Gerry Light                                                

Assistant General Secretary      

Over 150 Mandate activists in Tesco send a clear message to new Tesco Ireland CEO, Kari Daniels

3 October 2018


Ms Kari Daniels
Tesco Ireland
Gresham House
Marine Road
Dun Laoghaire
Co Dublin

Dear Ms Daniels

Following a recent national meeting of Tesco Ireland local union representatives we the undersigned are calling on you in your capacity of the new CEO of Tesco Ireland to address the following.

That our employer, Tesco Ireland, immediately reaffirms in both word and deed its commitment to fully honour all obligations contained in the various collective agreements negotiated with our union over the past 30 years.

The reason we are making this request is because over the last two years in particular we and our fellow union members firmly believe the actions of the Company have been designed to achieve the opposite. It is our further belief that the continuation of such an approach is having a detrimental impact on staff morale and consequently the ability of the Irish business to reach its full potential.

In a recent national survey of union members employed in Tesco Ireland 96% of respondents declared a desire for their employer to fully engage with their union on both individual and collective issues.  It is based on this declaration and also our daily interactions with fellow union members that the attendees at our recent national meeting took a decision to adopt a clear plan in order to firmly oppose and resist the manner in which our employer has treated us and our union in the recent past.

It is our genuine desire for orderly and constructive industrial relations to return to Tesco Ireland and we firmly believe this can be achieved without any further disruption to the business, after all this is in the best interests of all concerned.

In conclusion we contend that there is a better and more mutually productive way of dealing with industrial relations in Tesco Ireland and we sincerely ask that you bring your influence to bear as the new CEO to help finding a pathway towards it.

Yours sincerely

Mandate Trade Union Activists
(Letter signed by over 150 Mandate activists and shop stewards in Tesco)

Tesco Workers Together Update – Tuesday, 17th July 2018

Mandate Trade Union Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light gives an update on the Tesco Workers Together campaign:

“Hello, I wanted to talk to you following the recent announcement by Tesco Ireland to award a 2% pay increase. Of course everybody welcomes a pay increase, why wouldn’t you, but I am urging you to stop for a moment to look beyond this headline good news and consider the potential future dangers arising from the manner by which your employer has decided to pay the increase.

This decision was taken having total disregard to a claim by your union made on the 29th May that sought a 3% not a 2% pay increase along with a call for better weekly hours and more full time jobs. Importantly our claim also looked for the introduction of a mechanism to bring about greater pay equality. Pay equality means we want to move those on the lower points of the payscale closer to those on the top. After all in the main you do the same job so why shouldn’t that reality be reflected in your pay. Now, clearly a stand-alone offer of 2% falls far short of satisfying this and the other parts of the pay and benefits claim made on your behalf.

Because Tesco decided to ignore your claim we have now sent it to the Workplace Relations Commission for their attention meaning that your union with your support has no intention of giving up in attempting to deliver the best deal possible for you and your fellow members. By ignoring you and your union in this fashion the company is clearly setting out a model for industrial relations into the future and it does not involve giving you the workers a democratic say in determining what your pay and benefits will look like. They will tell you how much you will get and when you will get it. Significantly, they will apply the same model when entitlements are either reduced or removed.

Of course the real threat not only lies in the type of substandard company offers that might be imposed in the future but you must also look to how best to protect your current terms and conditions of employment many of which were created in the past through collective agreement with your union, such as the important 2006 banded hours agreement which today protects your weekly hours. Make no mistake about it at a time of their choosing when they believe they have turned sufficient numbers of workers against and out of the union the company will move to attack these hard won entitlements. We are already seeing evidence of this in certain stores where post 1996 workers are being targeted especially in relation to their established working patterns.

Of course the long standing struggle of pre 96 union members continues and at a recent general meeting over 140 of them gathered to renew their commitment to fight for a satisfactory resolution to their dispute. Importantly they unanimously supported our pay equality claim both in respect of themselves and all their fellow union members working in Tesco.

After many false dawns and failed attempts by others including the Labour Court to get Tesco to engage with your union the time has now come to declare a halt to the type of unacceptable and dangerous behaviour being pursued by your employer. However, we can only do this as one voice acting collectively in a determined fashion. Over the coming weeks we will be highlighting in greater detail the extent by which your employer is and has been advancing its anti-union agenda. In this regard I would urge you to read the next edition of our union newspaper Shopfloor which is due out in the coming days. In September of this year a national Tesco activists meeting is being convened to consider and endorse a campaign of resistance against the way Tesco is treating you and your union.

Critically only you, the members of the union, have the power to fight back and make real and positive change happen for all. I urge you don’t waste the opportunity to use this power when it presents itself in the coming weeks and months and more importantly don’t leave it too late to take whatever action is necessary to defend your interests, and remember TOGETHER WE ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE STRONGER.”

All Tesco stores to remain closed today due to Storm Emma

Mandate Trade Union has welcomed Tesco’s confirmation that all stores in the Republic of Ireland will remain closed today (Friday, 2nd March 2018) due to the dangerous weather.

The company says it intends to open stores tomorrow, Saturday 3rd March.

It is important that workers’ health and safety remains a priority for all retail outlets in Ireland during the course of this passing storm.

Mandate would like to remind all Tesco workers of to take the Tesco Workers Together survey if they haven’t already done so. Please click this link for more.


Labour Court Recommendations issued

14th February 2018



Dear member

The following is a quick update following our last communication to you regarding the Labour Court hearings held on the 29th January 2017.

The Labour Court has now issued its recommendations in respect of both cases that were referred by your Union.

Having regard to the totality of the case presented to them the Court has decided to focus its findings on the general relationship that currently exists between your Union and Tesco Ireland. As you are aware the state of this relationship has deteriorated greatly over the past 12 months in particular. In recognition of this indisputable fact the Court has recommended the Union and the Company should engage over the next 12 weeks in an effort to repair the damaged relationship for the good of all concerned.

Your Union is supportive of the Court’s recommendation and we have now written to the Company in order to determine whether they are agreeable to engage along the lines envisaged by the Court. There can be no doubt that everybody working in the Tesco Ireland business would benefit greatly from an improvement in the overall relationship between the Union and the Company.

This is something our members clearly want and proof of this is reflected in the initial responses to our Tesco Ireland membership survey that was launched last week where so far nearly 98% of respondents have declared a desire for their employer to deal directly with their Union on individual and collective matters.

Your Union is prepared to make a genuine effort to meaningfully engage with the Company however we must now await a response from senior management to see if they are agreeable to proceed in accordance with the terms recommended by the Labour Court.

As always you will be appraised of any developments as they happen


The two Labour Court Recommendations are available below:

Tesco – Labour Court Recommendation No. LCR21654

Tesco – Labour Court Recommendation No. LCR21655

Tesco workers 2018 survey launched

Mandate Trade Union has launched the Tesco Workers Together Survey 2018 today in order to give members in Tesco Ireland a strong, independent and powerful voice at work.

This survey is now an important annual event for all Tesco Ireland workers and allows you through your Union formulate claims which seek to improve your terms and conditions at work.

It is important that all Mandate members in Tesco Ireland take 5 minutes to complete this survey. Have your say on your future at work today by clicking here.

The results of last year’s survey, which was completed by thousands of workers in Tesco Ireland, enabled your union to process the following claim with the company, and subsequently the Labour Court:

  • A 3% wage increase for 2017
  • An additional 500 full time jobs
  • A wage increase weighted in favour of those on the lower hourly rates of pay
  • A review of current weekly hours

We are currently awaiting a recommendation from the Labour Court on these matters.

The Tesco Workers Together campaign was founded in 2016 in order to bring all Tesco Ireland workers in Ireland together for the betterment of all. The primary motives of the campaign are to ensure that no Tesco Ireland worker can have their terms and conditions deteriorated by the company without their agreement, and also to lift the working conditions of all workers in Tesco Ireland.

Tesco Ireland is one of the largest private sector employers in the country, controlling almost €1 in every €4 spent on groceries and with estimated profits in the region of €250 million per year.

Much of the success of Tesco Ireland is down to its workers, and we believe you and your fellow Union members, as valuable contributors to that success, should share in the benefits as much as possible.


Please complete the survey by clicking here.


NOTE: If you have received this communication in error and do not wish to be contacted by Mandate Trade Union again, please email

Tesco workers’ case is heard by Labour Court

The Labour Court heard this morning (Monday, January 29th) from both Mandate & Siptu Trade Unions and Tesco Ireland management in relation to two outstanding claims made by the Unions on behalf of their members employed in Tesco Ireland.

The two cases include:

Claim 1

  • A 3% wage increase for 2017
  • An additional 500 full time jobs
  • A wage increase weighted in favour of those on the lower hourly rates of pay
  • A review of current weekly hours

Claim 2

  • A claim for outstanding pay increases for pre-1996 staff that have already been paid to all other staff in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The Court has now entered into deliberations and their recommendation is expected in the coming weeks. All Mandate & Siptu members working in Tesco will be informed of the outcome as soon as it is available.

Two Mandate vs Tesco cases at Labour Court rearranged for January 29th

Two pending Labour Court cases by Mandate Trade Union vs Tesco Ireland have been rearranged and will now take place on Monday, 29th January 2018.

The two cases include:

  1. A claim by Mandate on Tesco Ireland to create more full-time permanent jobs following Tesco’s removal of more than 1,500 full-time position in recent years. Highly profitable retailers like Tesco have no excuse for not creating more decent full-time positions, with good rates of pay and good rosters. Another element of this claim is for a review of the current Banded Hours Agreement.
  2. A claim for a six percent pay increase for pre-1996 staff that all other staff have received.

The two cases will be heard separately and Mandate Trade Union will inform all Tesco members of the outcome as soon as possible.

Tesco Update – Thursday, 9th November 2017

The following is an industrial relations update from Mandate:


Tesco Workers Together Member Update

Date: 1 November 2017

1. National Emergency / Storm Ophelia

Mandate Trade Union contacted all major retailers with regard to their intentions to protect their staff health and safety for the duration of the national emergency. In particular we were advising employers that stores should close and staff should be sent home and paid in full. We are happy to report that after numerous interventions from Mandate Trade Union on the morning of the storm, Tesco agreed to eventually close stores and send staff home without loss of pay.

2. Mandate Trade Union will continue to fight for Decency and Respect for Tesco workers:

We are pursuing Tesco to create significantly more full-time permanent jobs. In the last 18 months Tesco has taken out over 1,500 fulltime permanent jobs replacing them with part-time jobs, many of which fail to provide enough earnings for workers to survive. Profitable retailers have no excuse for not creating more decent fulltime positions, with good rates of pay and good rosters .The Labour Court will hear a case on the 4th Jan 18 lodged by Mandate for a review of the current Banded Hours Agreement. On the same date the Labour Court will also hear a case against Tesco for the non-payment of pay increases to pre 96 members.

There are two pay scales in Tesco at the moment, we are pursuing an equality agenda demanding that all employees are equalised upwards to the higher pay scale and that progression on the scale should be 12 months for all employees.

3. Project Black Continues

Tesco continue to interfere with workers’ rights and workers’ voice at work. We believe the company is trying to dismantle your union, silence your voice at work and weaken workers’ ability to secure decent terms and conditions into the future. The following are just some of Tesco’s actions:

Tesco removed 2,000 workers who either went on strike or threatened to go on strike from the contractual company/union agreement for the payment of union subs via payroll (majority of these members have now signed up to the union on-line payment).

For the remaining members paying their subs via payroll the company continues to forward your union subs (albeit belatedly) to Union Head Office, but Tesco are refusing to include a listing of those members for whom the money is to be credited against. This is an attempt to interfere with your union payment history and cause some confusion among members.

Tesco refuse to engage with your union on collective issues such as pay and benefits. As we know the Company is attempting to position itself as the sole determinant of all your future pay increases and terms and conditions of employment. Collective bargaining is important to every Tesco worker, it’s your voice at work, it’s your collective independent power, it delivers pay and conditions on which you have a say. Anything short of full engagement with your union puts all your existing and future pay and conditions at the mercy of management

Tesco is attempting to limit the access of your Union Officials to stores – this is an attack on your rights to be fully represented by well-trained union officials who can fight your corner and protect you against mistreatment.

Mandate believes that Tesco will not be satisfied until it totally dismantles all union structures and all workers’ influence at work at which stage they can effectively do what they want with employees. This is the aim of “Project Black”, but it will not succeed. Irish workers will not tolerate Tesco attacking their union and their Voice at Work. The terms and conditions enjoyed by Tesco workers today were not given freely by the company, they were won down through the years by employees in a strong union and via collective bargaining.

4. Christmas Trading Arrangements and Conditions of Employment

Mandate Trade Union will be shortly circulating Christmas arrangements and conditions which should be applied by Tesco to all members working over the holiday period. For full details of the Christmas Trading/Working Agreement please click here:

Please update your contact details so as to receive the most up-to-date union membership information at

Please ensure that you and your fellow workers are also union members. You can join on-line at

Remember, Unity is strength, we are stronger together.

Kick back against Project Black.

Tesco IR Member Update October 2017

Please also find below updates on Christmas working arrangements for both night and day staff in Tesco Ireland:

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