It seems increasingly likely that about 80 workers in the Tesco store in Roscommon town will go on strike after those employees who so far have been balloted countrywide overwhelmingly voted for that course of action.
The Mandate trade union are currently balloting 12,500 staff who work in the 149 Tesco supermarkets in Ireland. Last Friday, April 15th, more than 99 per cent of the 1,000 members who had been balloted voted in favour of industrial action.
The dispute is over pay issues.
Mandate said that the action was being taken because the supermarket chain had refused to accept a Labour Court recommendation and were attempting to force significant wage cuts on a large number of staff.
On February 19th, the Labour Court recommended that all Tesco staff should receive a 2 per cent pay pay increase and a share bonus payment.
Mandate said that the chain had told more than 1,000 workers (employed before 1996) that they would not be receiving the pay increase and would be forced to take pay cuts of up to 35 per cent from May 16th.
Tesco said that it was “disappointed” with the results of last week’s ballot and was open to mediation with the Workplace Relations Commission.
They added: “We have proposed a generous compensation offer, including a voluntary redundancy scheme at five weeks per year of service uncapped and compensation of 2.5 times annual loss of earnings for colleagues moving to our main contract.
“We are proposing to move these colleagues to our main contract, which already covers the vast majority of our workforce, as the pre-1996 contract means we have too many colleagues working during the earlier quieter times of the week and not enough during the busiest.”