Staff at 70 Tesco stores in Ireland have postponed a strike 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.
The workplace relations commission has invited Tesco and trade unions Mandate and SIPTU into a further round of conciliation talks tomorrow (May 18).
On that basis, Tesco deferred the implementation of changes to the pre-1996 contract, which were due to take effect on Monda, and Mandate suspended the industrial action they had arranged for the same day.
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.