Staff at 70 Tesco stores in Ireland will strike on May 16 over changes to contracts that union officials say will result in “significant” pay cuts for some employees.
The dispute centres around the supermarket’s proposal to move employees on contracts signed before 1996 onto new contracts agreed with unions in 2006.
Trade union Mandate said the changes would see a cut of between 15% and 35% in pay, as well as a reduction of overtime, cuts to the Sunday pay premium (double time or time and a half) and a reduction in annual bonuses.
Tesco said 70% of the 1,000 members of staff employed before 1996 had agreed to accept voluntary redundancy. The package included five weeks’ pay for every year of service.
For those 300 members of staff who did not opt for redundancy, Tesco said it would pay compensation of two and a half times the annual loss of income experienced by moving to the new contract.
Tesco, which employs more than 15,000 people in total across the Republic of Ireland, said its stores will open on Monday as usual, adding it remained “committed to reaching agreement on this issue and had formally tabled a generous proposal for compensation for colleagues in scope,” according to The Irish Times.
Gerry Light, Mandate assistant general secretary, said: “These changes will seriously undermine living standards for our members who have mortgages and other commitments which were made on the back of their conditions of employment over the last 20-30 years.
“Tesco is an extremely profitable employer making more than €200m (£158m) in profits in the Republic of Ireland, and now they’re attacking the very people who built the company to what it is today.”
Tesco has been contacted for a comment.