Workers at Tesco’s US chain Fresh & Easy have appealed to the retailer to organise full union representation for its staff.

Fresh & Easy’s US operations chief executive Tim Mason has been contacted personally by a member of staff from a store in California urging him to begin talks with the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union (UFCW).

Tesco says that its workers are free to join a union, but has so far not offered to sit down with the UFCW to discuss full unionisation.

UFCW executive vice-president Patrick O’Neill said: “We have repeatedly asked for dialogue with Sir Terry Leahy and Tesco over union recognition and partnership, but they have repeatedly replied that union membership is a matter of individual choice and that the decision over whether to unionise rests in the hands of employees.”