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Seanad unites to back Tesco workers in dispute – Paul Gavan

21 February, 2017 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Fein Senator Paul Gavan has welcomed the vote by the Seanad this evening which calls on Tesco management to respect the rights of long serving Tesco workers to maintain their existing terms and conditions of work.

The vote was a result of a motion proposed by the Sinn Fein Senate team and it had the support of all parties and groups in the chamber.

The motion is a timely show of solidarity as Mandate trade union members enter their second week on strike. The dispute has seen a further escalation with workers in 20 stores now on strike throughout the state. Mandate have stated that the strike is a result of an attempt by Tesco management to enforce contract changes which would see the wages of staff recruited before 1996 fall by 15%.

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan, Workers Rights Spokesperson in the Seanad said:

 "Today the Seanad as a whole has sent a powerful message to Tesco Management. No Ifs or Buts, just a simple clear message that they must respect the rights of their longest serving employees. Mandate trade union have repeatedly made it clear that this dispute can end - all that is required is that Tesco agree to not force changes to contracts against the will of their members.

"The fact that this motion has received so much cross party support shows that all right thinking people can see the justice in the case made by Mandate. It just isn’t right to turn around to workers who have given 20 years or more service and tell them they can either have cuts to their pay and conditions or redundancy."

Senator Gavan also paid tribute to the public for their strong support for the Tesco workers:

"The vast bulk of citizens have been rock solid in their support for the Mandate members, they know that it’s always wrong to cross a picket line during a legal trade dispute. I am calling on Tesco management to heed the united call of the Senate today and  take immediate steps to end this dispute by recognising the rights of their longest serving employees" END

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