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Tesco accedes to wage demands, but issues remain

Retail

Tesco submitted its report pertaining to wage demands and workforce numbers by the Monday deadline to the two bodies  representing employeesʼ interests active at the company, the Independent Union of Commercial Workers (KDFSZ) and the Trade Union of Commercial Employees (KASZ), Tesco Global Stores Zrt. told state news agency MTI.

The news was confirmed by KDFSZ President Csaba Bubenkó, and Zoltán Karsai, head of the KASZ strike committee. Tesco stressed that the document passed to the unions contains business secrets, and thus it would not reveal precise details for the time being.

In a statement to MTI on Monday, KASZ said that Tesco accepts the unionsʼ demands for pay rises and will raise the monthly wages of its lowest-earning employees retroactively from September 1 to a gross HUF 179,000.

In addition, the company also sent the unions a complex document pertaining to employee headcounts at its various stores, which the unions will need to study as the starting point for continuing negotiations. According to an earlier agreement, talks are set to resume on October 2.

Bubenkó stressed to MTI that Tescoʼs report did not comply with the strikersʼ demand for a 15% increase in employee numbers, but confirmed that no new strike would be called before the resumption of talks at the beginning of October.

Unions are calling for a 25% increase on 2016 wages for Tesco workers, so that even the pay of the lowest-earning workers reaches a gross HUF 180,000 per month.

KASZ and KDFSZ held two days of nationwide strikes on September 8 and 9. KASZ has 2,500 members at Tesco, and KDFSZ some 1,000.

Tesco has a total of 206 stores in Hungary, 112 of them hypermarkets. The company employs almost 20,000 workers.

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