TescoA Workers’ Party councillor has welcomed the decision by the Department of Social Protection to remove a questionable circular that stated that workers who are on strike would not receive their Family Income Supplment (FIS) entitlements.

Cllr. Éilis Ryan (Workers’ Party, North Inner City) spoke following her discovery that circular SW22, which stated that FIS was not to be paid to workers who are on strike, had been removed from the Department’s website.

Cllr. Ryan said:

Family Income Supplement is a state support paid to low-income families who are in employment. Workers on strike are in employment – and the Tesco workers want to be in their shops working.

It is not their fault that their employer is attempting to undermine their contracts, and they should not be penalised by the state for this.

Cllr. Ryan said that Tesco management have used bully boy tactics to sway workers away from strike action – including threats that their FIS would not be paid.

Tesco management have been spreading rumours that anyone on strike would not receive their Family Income Support.

An old government circular backed this claim, but this is at odds with the legislation on FIS. Clearly, given the Department of Social Protection have decided to remove the circular from their website, the Department are also of the opinion that the circular was flawed.

We are calling on Tesco to clarify to their employees that strike action will not affect Family Income Supplement payments.