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15th Apr 2016

Tesco workers have voted for strike action following pay dispute

Ellen Tannam

Around 1,000 employees of supermarket chain Tesco have voted to back strike action over plans to reduce pay and conditions.

Mandate Trade Union assistant general secretary Gerry Light told RTÉ:

“We’ve now served notice on the company that our members intend to strike in the event the company proceeds with their plans to cut wages or alter the contracts of employment without agreement.”

The company had said it would defer its plan to reduce pay and conditions for 1000 of its 14,000 strong workforce until May 16th, and had formally opened a voluntary redundancy scheme.

Tesco has now accepted an invitation to talks from the Workplace Relations Commission next Thursday.

The dispute has been caused by the company wanting to change the contract of the 1,000 employees it hired before contractual changes came into place in 1996.

Tesco are arguing that the pre-1996 contracts aren’t flexible enough for modern trading, and want to downgrade these employees contracts to the post-1996 model.