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Cullinane hosts Tesco workers briefing with Mandate

12 May, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane today hosted a cross-party briefing today by Mandate Trade Union on the current situation between Tesco and its workforce in Leinster House.

John Douglas, the union’s General Secretary, told the meeting that Tesco Ireland is the largest private sector employer in the South of Ireland employing 14,000 workers in 149 stores throughout the country. They are also one of the most profitable retail companies in Ireland and Mandate Trade Union estimates they are achieving profits in excess of €200 million per year.

Mr Douglas said:

“Despite this, around ten per cent of all Tesco workers are in receipt of family income supplement or other welfare payments.

“Around 70 per cent of all Tesco workers are female, some with 30 years’ service with the company and are being told by management, ‘thanks for all your service but you are not wanted now’.

“The cuts in pay and conditions that Tesco management want to bring in will end up as an additional burden on the State as workers are forced to apply for benefits in order to pay their bills.

“Tesco management have used intimidation and coercion against their workforce in relation to this dispute.”

Deputy Cullinane said that it is clear that workers need to be given additional legislative rights in order to allow a level playing ground when dealing with management, with union right to access a key issue as well as union recognition.

The Waterford TD said:

“The Programme for government acknowledges the need for proper arbitration structures. Now is the time to bring balance to these structures, by giving Irish workers the kind of union rights that are necessary for equality and fairness in the workplace.” 

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