Tesco Strike – No Pasaran – Op Ed – Packy Carty – Saoradh Nuacht

In solidarity with the Tesco workers who went on strike today and with our Saoradh comrades in Dublin who joined them on the picket lines. – Packy Carty

Tesco, No Pasaran!

Tesco has launched an offensive against its own workforce, an offensive aimed to increase its own profit margins at the expense of the ordinary worker.

The new policy of eating into the already frugal wages and benefits it pays its workers is to begin, Workers at Tesco have been kept in the dark by the company and have had to rely on the BBC/RTE for news of the impending hardships. The cuts aimed at workers most notably the longest serving staff could bite by 25%, with overtime and pay for working holidays to be significantly slashed. Zero-hour contracts have been repackaged under the term “Flexi-Time” which offers a few core hours and a must accept system for irregular hours with unfair remuneration. Workers pensions are also being eyed with hungry corporate eyes as the greed of Tesco PLC knows no bounds.

Many small suppliers to Tesco have also claimed trying to get paid for their produce is like trying to get blood from a stone, Tesco have been unfairly remunerating suppliers or holding back on payments to boost profits and accounts pushing many small suppliers to the wall, putting Tesco in breach of the UK groceries code of conduct.

When the British Tories introduced the so-called “living wage” a mere measly non-mandatory £7.20 an hour, it was unsurprisingly termed “LETHAL” by Tesco’s Chief Executive Dave Lewis, a sure indicator that Tesco would not be partaking in the pay rise. Dave, however, has no need to worry as he was paid £4.1 million for the first six months of that year exposing the massive inequality and income gap between the top and the bottom of a company that raked in £354 million in profit in a supposedly poor trading year.

As Tesco attempts to raise its profits at the expense of its workers, its corporate and capitalist means of distribution see thousands of tonnes of perfectly edible food go to landfill sites, a criminal waste of resources when the use of food banks by hard-pressed Irish families is at an all-time high.

A century after the Easter Rising, the capitalist exploitation that was the catalyst for the formation of James Connolly’s Irish Citizens Army is as virulent as ever. It’s up to us as Irish Socialist Republicans to do more than just focus on the national question as important as it is and move in the spirit of Connolly to provide a vanguard for the workers of Ireland thus persuading them of the benefits of a democratic socialist Republic. It is only through hard work linking capitalist exploitation to the continued imperialist division of the Irish Nation can we hope to build a Movement that can finally realise our ideals and surmount what has been to date insurmountable.

The exploitation at Tesco is but one small symptom of the regime that Irish Republicans have set themselves against, the picket lines are up we must be among the first to the coalface.

Don’t pass the picket line at Tesco ‘No Pasaran’ 

#TescoStrike #EveryLittleHurts

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