This is the next front on the attack on retail workers in Ireland

tesco_workers_pbpTesco have announced that long serving members of staff are on ‘inflexible contracts’ and are demanding that they take wage cuts.

Cllr Gino Kenny from People Before Profit DMW has claimed that

“This move reflects the true nature of the Irish ‘recovery- it is being built on a low wage economy.

“About 1,000 members of Tesco staff are affected and it would mean a cut of €2.35 (16.5%) per hour for workers earning €14.31. Over a whole year it would lead to a minimum reduction of €6,591 per worker.

Workers are also being threatened with:

– The loss of late night allowance.
– The loss of early morning allowance.
– The loss of the guaranteed share bonus scheme.

“It is a blatant case of Tesco attempting to increase their profits at the expense of their most long and long-standing members of staff. This is not a struggling company. Dave Lewis, the CEO of Tesco is on €1.5 million a year – so he does not know what it is like to live on just over €11 an hour.

“Tesco is a highly profitable retailer that has one quarter of the entire grocery market in the Republic of Ireland. The company refuses to release their profits but the shop workers union, MANDATE, estimate them to be in the region of €250-300 million per year.

“Tesco’s plan shows what is really happening in the Irish recovery. A recent OECD report, Employment Outlook 2015, showed that the numbers of Irish workers on low pay had jumped from 19 percent of the workforce in 2003 to 23 percent a decade later. This puts Ireland closer to the US pattern of a quarter of workers being classified officially classified as low pay.

“We need strong unions to combat attempts to reduce wage rates. People Before Profit will support changes in the Industrial Relations Acts to make it easier for workers to take action against companies like Tesco. We will produce legislation to give workers an automatic right to collective bargaining and union recognition. We will move to increase the minimum wage to bring it closer to the living age of €11.25 an hour”.