Tesco Ireland has asked all employees who have worked with the grocer since or before 1996 to sign new contracts which will mean a significant reduction in their pay. The big four grocer has outraged loyal staff in its latest move in a series of personnel changes.
The new contracts will decrease the wages of affected staff by up to €3 less per hour than their current pay terms. Tesco is in the process of redrafting the contracts of its longest serving workers, noting that “the pre-1996 contract doesn’t meet the needs of today’s customers”.
Tesco attempts to justify its amendments by noting that the contracts of these employees were assigned before stores were open on Sunday’s and late nights.
While the new contracts will not be given to long-serving employees in management positions, around 6% of Tesco’s Irish workforce will be affected by the changes.
“We have today briefed colleagues that we are entering into discussions with trade unions with a view to moving colleagues from the pre-1996 contract to our modern contract which we agreed with trade unions in 2006 and covers the majority of our colleagues,” the grocery chain said in a statement.
Tesco’s latest move is one of a number of unpopular alterations made towards its Irish employees. In May 2015, the supermarket chain cancelled the company’s Christmas bonus which typically comprised of around €250, for all staff with less than 20 years’ service. Tesco noted that the cuts were a result of “competitive market conditions”.
“It’s all true – there’s a whole range of different issues that are being touched upon, but huge cuts in pay and no Christmas bonus for long-term staff are two of them,” a spokesman from Mandate, Tesco’s workers’ union told TheJournal.ie.