Posts Tagged ‘living wage’

Solidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine’s Day strike

February 8, 2017 Leave a comment
Poster produced by the Activist for use in solidarity selfies with the Tesco workers strike in Ireland

Poster produced by the Activist for use in solidarity selfies with the Tesco workers strike in Ireland

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 ( and also send copies to 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

Activist 65

December 31, 2016 Leave a comment

Includes article on Boxing Day opening, Weetabix strike, Lidl’s ‘living wage’ and M&S premium pay cuts

Co-op Pay Offer: Too Good to be True?

March 16, 2015 3 comments

“Usdaw negotiates an 8.5% pay increase for 60,000 Co-op retail staff” proudy said the press release of March 10th on the Usdaw website. In a period of low or no pay rises for many workers, such a significant rise, from £6.73 an hour to £7.30 on basic pay (an extra £1,200 a year for a full time worker), is something that many Co-op workers and reps will welcome.

Even with the pay rise, basic pay rates will be less than the ‘living wage’ set by academics at Loughborough University, and which ADM agreed in 2013 should be basis from which our pay claims should start, let alone the £10 an hour unanimously supported at the 2014 Trades Unions Congress.

Yet the Usdaw website also says of the deal “The package includes proposals to simplify existing reward practices, improve consistency and better align the Co-op to market practices among major food retailers.” What this cryptic language actually means is that the Co-op are taking away current terms which mean that sick pay is paid from day one of absence, rather than after 3 days off in other retailers. It also means that bank holidays are now to be treated as normal working days.

Whilst the sick pay changes affect only a minority of the staff, these are generally members with much longer service who, due to age, are statistically more likely to be more regularly off sick. Whilst the changes are being justified by saying 3 day waiting is now the supermarket standard, surely our negotiators should be trying to extend paid sick pay from day one rather than weakening it?

Some staff will understandably be grateful of a decent pay rise, but our terms and conditions should not be traded away so lightly by the union’s negotiators. Therefore the Activist recommends a no vote in the upcoming ballot.

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Activist 52

July 2, 2014 4 comments

Special issue on the Tesco Pay award 2014

Categories: The Activist Tags: , ,

Activist 47

October 27, 2013 3 comments

Includes articles on zero hour contracts, Morrisons apprenticeship scandal, Is Workfare coming to Morrisons?, NSSN lobby of TUC Congress 2013, comment on Usdaw cost of living survey amongst young members, letters and more

Activist 44

Includes articles on working at Primark, Doncaster ex-Tesco drivers protest, Amazon strike in Germany, Tesco pay deal, the new AO’s, the general strike and more

Activist 43: Post-ADM Special

May 9, 2013 1 comment

Includes reports from ADM as well as articles on the minimum wage and Morrisons job cuts.