Tesco union in Czech Republic gives strike warning over closures

As many as 102 jobs could be at risk: Union
By Reuters
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 01/13/2015

PRAGUE (Reuters) — A union representing workers at Tesco's Czech business warned on Tuesday that it could call a strike after management announced the closure of two stores.

The company said on Tuesday it was closing a hypermarket in Usti nad Labem, a town north of Prague, while another store in the Czech capital will also go.

Ivan Predinsky, a union official who represents Tesco workers, told Reuters 102 jobs were on the line in the Czech Republic.

Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket group, plans to cut hundreds of millions of pounds of costs and sell assets to fund lower prices in response to the biggest crisis in its history.

The Czech union had few details on Tesco's plans and was concerned that more savings measures could be on the cards following the cost reduction measures announced by the parent company.

"It can be a signal that this is the first part of what can happen. We don't have sufficient information from England," Predinsky said, adding the cuts might also affect Tesco's businesses in Slovakia, Hungary or Poland.

Tesco said on Monday that it would close 13 shops in Hungary to protect future profitability.

A spokesman for Tesco's Czech stores referred Reuters to a statement on the closures when asked to comment on the union action. Tesco said outgoing employees would be paid full redundancy in line with Czech law and also special compensation.

Tesco employs about 13,500 people in the Czech Republic where it has more than 200 stores.

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