Tesco and trade union Usdaw have renewed their long-standing partnership by signing the largest private sector union agreement in the UK, giving union reps additional powers across the business.
The updated agreement provides for wider levels of consultation on all aspects of the employment relationship, as well as giving additional facilities for Usdaw’s union reps to carry out their roles across Tesco retail.
It will also ensure the UK’s biggest supermarket will continue to work closely with Usdaw – the sole recognised trade union for staff at Tesco’s UK stores – to secure the best possible level of support and voice for all store colleagues.
The partnership agreement, which was first signed in 1998, lays out the “principles and processes for how [Tesco and Usdaw] work together, engage, listen and respond to colleagues, improve terms and conditions, and solve problems together”.
“Our colleagues really are at the heart of our business; they work incredibly hard to overcome any challenges we face, while maintaining a great level of service and availability for our customers,” said Tesco’s chief people officer Emma Taylor.
“That’s why we believe it’s so important to listen to how they are feeling, and take the time to understand what really matters to them.”
Tesco’s new agreement with Usdaw has been designed to be simpler and more accessible, as it aims to encourage even more colleagues to engage and collaborate with the union.
The renewed agreement has a clear focus on Tesco’s business and people priorities as well as diversity, inclusion, health and wellbeing.
Under the new agreement Usdaw union reps will be able to meet with new starters during their induction, giving them the opportunity to become members. Usdaw reps will also be able to stand down with full pay from their normal jobs during set times in the year in order to focus on new member recruitment and union training.
“Our commitment to colleagues has never been stronger,” Taylor continued.
“We will continue to build strong relationships with the unions and organisations we work with, to make the best investments in our colleagues’ future and ensure Tesco remains a great place to work for all.”