Employees from the Tesco store in Sligo are taking strike action again today for the third time in the last month.
The Mandate Trade Union members have already been on strike on Thursday, December 6th and Friday, December 14th and will continue with their industrial action tomorrow.
Union members in Leitrim will be joining their colleagues in Sligo as they also take to the picket line outside the Carrick-on-Shannon store tomorrow.
The Union is calling on the company to abide by all collective agreements, including adherence to grievance procedures in order to prevent any further damage to the business and inconvenience to customers.
Mandate Divisional Organiser for the North & West, Ciaran Campbell, says there has been no progress toward resolving the dispute.
This morning, Tesco issued the following response to the latest action by Mandate:
It says it is extremely disappointed that Mandate is proceeding yet again with strike action at its Sligo store today and its Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon stores on Saturday.
It continues: “This series of one-day strikes is entirely out of proportion as these are local disputes involving local issues that don’t warrant such disruption in Christmas week.
“Despite the strikes, our stores will remain open today and Saturday and we thank our colleagues and our customers for their co-operation.
“We regret this action by Mandate and the disruption inflicted on our colleagues, our customers and to other businesses in the two towns by these unjustified strikes. It is particularly disappointing action by Mandate for these close-to-the-Border towns in the run up to Christmas.
“We reject Mandate’s claims that the union is left with no option but to have strikes in Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon or that it is Tesco’s failure to follow and implement agreed collective procedures. It is in fact the complete opposite, we remain committed to the State’s industrial relations machinery as we were before when we accepted a Labour Court recommendation that continues to remain rejected by Mandate. Unlike the union, we continue to respect the Industrial Relations processes and remain committed to them.”
Tesco says it remains committed to resolving this dispute.
It added: “We request that Mandate, even at this late stage, desist from the industrial action and refer these issues back to the WRC where we are willing to engage with the union. Mandate should return to the agreed norms in industrial relations as is provided for in our current agreement and call off this unnecessary and damaging action.
“Mandate should revisit too its decision to refuse to take up the offer from the WRC for a conciliation conference on Sligo which was originally scheduled for October 24th. In Carrick-on-Shannon the local issues have not yet even been referred back to the WRC by Mandate indicating these strikes are pre-emptive.
“It is unfathomable that Mandate is taking this approach when Tesco fully respects our colleagues’ right to choose to be represented by a trade union, unlike many other retail stores and businesses this Christmas who do not recognise or engage with Mandate.”
Ciaran Campbell strongly disagreed when a number of the issues in the Tesco statement were put to him by Ocean FM News, including that the dispute was a local issue.