ADM special featuring articles on the general election, Usdaw and the living wage and our guide to propositions plus details of the Usdaw Activist fringe meeting.
The latest issue of the Activist featuring articles on the latest Tesco profit rises, the Tesco Ireland strike and our call to boycott the Tesco night at Usdaw ADM as well as the latest Usdaw news on the NHS demo and Usdaw elections plus details of NSSN conference.
Up to 15 Tesco stores in Ireland will face strike action on Valentine’s Day 14 February after members of the trade union Mandate, which represents more than 10,000 workers at the company, voted 78% in favour of a walkout over contract changes.
Scott Jones, Usdaw East London Retail branch chair (personal capacity)
The changes Tesco Ireland are attempting to force through without agreement affect approximately 250 workers employed before 1996. The new contracts would result in some workers experiencing reduced incomes of up to 15% along with increased ‘flexibility’.
Tesco began their attack on pre-1996 staff more than one year ago when they intimidated and bullied more than 900 workers out of their jobs through a redundancy programme and strike action was narrowly avoided then.
The remaining 250 workers want to stay in the company on the contracts they have but the company is insisting they accept reduced terms and conditions.
This followed moves at Tesco in the UK to drive down terms and conditions last year when hundreds of staff lost out as a result of the pay deal which caused pay cuts in overtime, weekend and night premiums. Meanwhile Tesco CEO Dave Lewis received £4.1 million in his first six months as boss in 2015 and Tesco reported that it had its best sales growth at the end of last year’s quarter for over five years. This profit was further boosted by the Christmas sales meaning that Tesco is on course to deliver a profit of “at least” £1.2 billion for 2016-17.
As one Tesco worker said then: “I’d rather have a living wage than support the lifestyles of shareholders.”
We support Tesco workers in Ireland and their trade union Mandate for taking this action against Tesco’s attempt to implement increasingly low-paid, part-time precarious work in its stores. And we call on Usdaw, the shop workers’ union in Britain, to raise solidarity and discuss industrial action so that the strength of the 160,000 Usdaw members in Tesco is used to fight against low pay and attacks on conditions.
We would encourage all Usdaw reps and other labour movement activists who wish to support the strike to send solidarity messages to the workers via their website (https://tescoworkers.com/contact-us/) and also send copies to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have produced a poster (see image above) that can be printed out to take ‘solidarity selfies’ and photos with to be shared on social media, tag @MandateTU on Twitter
Includes interview on the North West Executive Council by-election, Tesco buyout of Booker and Weetabix strike ballot.
Includes article on Boxing Day opening, Weetabix strike, Lidl’s ‘living wage’ and M&S premium pay cuts
Special issue of the Activist on the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader