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Tesco agrees average 10% wage hike

Supermarket chain Tesco has reached an agreement with workersʼ unions on overall average wage hikes of close to 10% from January 2018, with a particular focus on the lowest earners.  The wage hikes affect a total of  14,100 employees, according to a statement from Tesco cited by online business news portal vg.hu.

Under the wage agreement, Tesco-Global Áruházak Zrt. will divert an additional HUF 2.8 billion to wage hikes for retail workers, the company told vg.hu. Including this amount, Tesco has spent a total of HUF 11.1 bln since January on wage corrections.

From January 2018, the lowest monthly wage will grow to HUF 197,000 for those employed full-time for at least six months. Adding bonuses and overtime, Tesco says this may expand to a gross monthly HUF 227,700.

In addition, Tesco is focusing on developing its workforce, investing almost HUF 100 million this year in training for over 1,000 workers.

After signing the agreement, Tesco Managing Director Zsolt Pártos praised the Trade Union of Commercial Employees (KASZ) and the Independent Union of Commercial Workers (KDFSZ) for their "constructive participation as partners at wage talks," where he said the negotiating parties had focused on both workersʼ interests and the uninterrupted operation of the business.

Following stoppages and demonstrations among workers earlier in the year, unions called warning strikes in September, before resuming negotiations with management on October 2. Unions had originally demanded a 25% wage increase and 15% expansion in the workforce.

KASZ and KDFSZ described the wage negotiations as a success, recalling that after the company had retroactively raised its minimum gross monthly wage to HUF 179,000 from September 1, the goal of further talks had been to ensure that the minimum monthly wage at Tesco would remain HUF 15,000 above next yearʼs guaranteed minimum wage level of HUF 180,500.

Vg.hu noted that Tesco has a total of 206 stores in Hungary, 112 of these being hypermarkets. The company employs around 20,000 workers in the country as a whole.