Tesco sees off union fight for agency staff

Around 40-50 people protested outside a Tesco annual general meeting in Glasgow, where a motion to demand better working conditions for agency meat workers was defeated.

The motion, put down by Unite and said to be a first for a British trade union, received the support of 11% of stakeholders, while a further 7% abstained. A figure of 75% is needed for the motion to be carried. Unite deputy general secretary Jack Dromey said: “An unmistakable message has been sent to the board. Tesco must hear the voice of workers in the meat industry and a growing number of its own shareholders.”

The union has also added that exploiting migrant agency workers and undercutting indigenous workers divides workplaces, damages community social cohesion and fuels racism. A Tesco board statement said the company's guidelines went “far beyond the legal requirements and ensure all workers are treated fairly and without discrimination”.

The board also cited the forthcoming inquiry into industry employment practices in the meat and supply chain by the Equality and Human Rights Commission as the most appropriate way of addressing any issues of concern.


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