The 10% bonus being paid on actual hours worked over the crisis is welcomed by Tesco staff in what has been an extremely challenging tine for us with busier stores, stressed out managers and concerns about our health and safety at work.
But our work has been getting harder for years. This 10% shouldn’t be just a pat on the back for working hard over these few months, we should be demanding that we keep this as a permanent 10% pay rise! The company can afford it. Despite the constant refrain from lead managers of Lidl and Aldi forcing us to cut staff and work harder, Tesco’s profits and wider financial position have been improving year on year as the financial report sent out to us all last week shows.
And why stop there?
The 12 weeks paid leave for vulnerable colleagues should be extended to make Lifestyle Breaks paid – it’s all well and good saying we can go out and travel the world or take time off work, but if we can’t afford to eat, then it’s of little use!
The minimal notice period and line-manager approval for all types of leave should be continued, too. As we’ve seen, the company has no problems in finding cover when it’s really needed.
Finally, but by no means least, the suspension of the degrading attendance review process should continue. Our managers aren’t doctors nor are they aware of everything going on in our lives – we shouldn’t be asked to justify for a second time, months down the line every day we’ve needed off. This, alongside full paid sick leave from day 1 will make a huge difference to our lives and our ability to take time off when need it.
We shouldn’t accept any retreat on the things we have won over the past few weeks, and we should organise in our shops to keep them and to push USDAW to take a militant stance and fight for more.
Charlie is and USDAW Rep in a large format Tesco store in London