Tesco accused of interfering in union ballot

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The Independent Online
Senior managers at the Tesco supermarket chain were yesterday accused of interfering in a union election ballot by distributing the literature of the "Blairite" candidate.

The company sent out an E-mail instruction to all 500 store managers telling them to send out leaflets to shop stewards on behalf of Bill Connor, standing on the "moderate" ticket for the leadership of Usdaw, the shopworkers' union.

His left-wing opponent Terry Savage, who has attracted backing from Trotskyists to middle-of-the-road Labour supporters, argued it was "unethical" for a union official to rely on the help of management.

Leslie James, Tesco's human resources director, said that they acceded to the request from Mr Connor because of management's "mature" relationship with the union and that the company would be "happy" to circulate documents on behalf of Mr Savage. There was no question of favouritism. Barrie Clement