Tesco workers at 70 stores across Ireland to go on strike from Thursday
Tesco workers at 70 stores across Ireland will go on strike from Thursday.
More then 300 long-serving staff are expected to be affected by changes to pay and rosters; all those workers are on contracts that were signed before 1996.
Talks between the company and its employees broke down at the Workplace Relations Commission on Tuesday.
Pickets will be placed on 70 stores across the country from Thursday, according to the Mandate trade union.
John Douglas, Mandate's general secretary, feels that the changes to their working conditions will have an adverse effect on the lives of 300 of the company's most experienced employees.
"It will mean between 15 and 20% reduction in their earnings for those workers," he told RTÉ.
"It'll mean that they have to make themselves available any time between 7 o'clock in the morning till 11 in the evening, five days over seven, so Monday to Sunday, to work.
"It'll mean that they'll lose any guaranteed overtime that they may have accumulated over the years. It'll mean that they have to be totally available at the beck-and-call of the company to come in any time they want them to."
Christine Heffernan, head of Corporate Affairs at Tesco, said that the changes are being made to create a more 'equitable workplace' and that pre-1996 contracts were not flexible.
She also insisted that changes had been put in place yet, and questioned the timing of the union's action.
"We haven't made any change and in fact we deferred the implementation date for this change to facilitate discussions in the WRC so we think that the union's decision to strike is premature and is very unusual," she told Morning Ireland.