The Workers’ Party has expressed its solidarity with Tesco workers beginning all out strike action on 14 February.

Meath representative Seamus McDonagh said: “Tesco is the most profitable supermarket chain in Ireland and there is no justification for this attack on the employment conditions of longstanding workers. Indeed, Tesco hasn’t bothered to put forward any justification for its actions.”

“It is clear that if the company is successful in forcing through changes to employment conditions for the 250 workers on pre-1996 contracts without the agreement of the workers that it will then do the very same to the rest of its workforce.”

Mr. McDonagh went on to criticise the Government’s acceptance of low paid work, particularly for female workers. “29% of female workers in Ireland are in low paid jobs compared to 19% of male workers. And 46% of low paid women are the main earners in their household. This attack in a sector which predominantly employs female workers is occurring just days after the closing of public submissions to the new National Women’s Strategy.”

The Workers’ Party representative concluded: “Union membership is the best way to protect workers’ pay and conditions – we must repeal the 1990 Industrial Relations Act and bring in legislation for mandatory trade union recognition if we are serious about stopping Tesco or any other company getting away with this.”