Workers from eight Tesco stores have gone on an indefinite strike with more threatening to join the protest against the largest supermarket chain in the UK. Tesco however has claimed that over 60 percent of the workers were on duty at the strike affected stores. Union retorted that only a handful of workers were working during the industrial action against the supermarket’s decision to get long- serving staff to accept new contracts.
Staff from stores in Dublin, Kerry, Longford, Meath, Offaly and Wicklow went on strike from 14th February and another eight stores in Dublin, Monaghan and Wicklow will join the campaign of industrial action on 17th. The dispute between the staff and supermarket could go on as Tesco has no plans to undo its decision to impose the new contracts on staff joined before 1996.
A Tesco spokeswoman said that business at the strike affected stores was down, but refused to quantify. “Up to 60pc of colleagues came into work in the stores on strike,” she said. “They have been supported by volunteers from our head office and store management teams.” She accused union of going for strike even before the company had imposed any cuts. Union General Secretary John Douglas said: “No worker wants to go on strike, but our members recognise that if Tesco can get away with tearing up contracts of employment without agreement for pre-1996 staff, it’ll be the 3,000 workers on post-1996 contracts who are currently on a higher hourly rate of pay who will be next.”