A potentially damaging strike by workers at 70 of Tesco’s stores in Ireland has been called off at the last minute after the retailer and the Mandate trade union agreed to further talks.
An “indefinite” strike had been due to start to today following a long-running stand-off between Tesco and unions over the retailer’s plan to change terms, including guaranteed overtime, for around 300 staff still on pre-1996 contracts.
Both sides last week agreed to try and resolve the dispute after an invitation to talks at the Workplace Relations Commission. However, the talks broke down on Tuesday after failure to reach an agreement. Mandate then said the planned strikes would go-ahead today with its aim to close the 70 affected stores.
However, late yesterday afternoon both parties said they have now agreed to take part in further talks on Friday at the Workplace Relations Commission.
A statement issued by Mandate said: “Tesco will not set any further dates for the implementation of contract changes and Mandate have therefore deferred their intention to proceed with industrial action. In the meantime, Mandate and Tesco have agreed that no hostilities between the parties will take place until those procedures have been fully exhausted”.
Tesco confirmed it had accepted an invitation from the Workplace Relations Commission to attend the latest round of talks. It says that it tabled an improved offer for the workers during WRC talks earlier in the week and urged Mandate to consult its members over the revised proposal.