800 Sainsbury job cuts ‘concerning’

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Up to 1,300 job losses have been announced by Sainsbury so far this year
Up to 1,300 job losses have been announced by Sainsbury so far this year

Related tags Job cuts Asda Sainsbury

Sainsbury’s proposals to cut 800 jobs across some of its stores to save £500M have left trades union officials concerned.

The retailer’s announcement today (April 23) would see some in-store department and deputy management roles removed to allow for more shop floor jobs, it said.

Night shift workers would also be replaced by evening and early morning shift workers, following a consultation with staff at 100 stores, Sainsbury added.

Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers's (Usdaw's) national officer Joanne McGuinness said the supermarket’s plans were troubling.

‘Concerned by the restructuring’

“Our members are concerned by the restructuring proposals put forward by the company, which could result in redundancies,” ​McGuinness said in a statement.

“We ​[will] enter into a 45-day consultation to get more details on the proposals, which we understand vary ​[from] store-to-store, and look closely at the company’s business case.”

Usdaw would work to protect its members’ livelihoods, maximise employment within the company and seek to redeploy staff whose roles would change following the consultation, she added.

In its fourth quarter results for the 10 weeks to March 14, the retailer reported like-for-like sales down​ 1.9%.

Sainsbury in figures

  • 592 supermarkets
  • 611 local stores
  • £23bn turnover
  • 23.4M in-store transactions a week
  • £1bn in online sales

More than 500 job cuts were announced at the retailer’s store support centres in London, Manchester and Coventry by ceo Mike Coupe at the start of this year. In total, 1,300 potential job losses have been announced by Sainsbury so far.

‘Exceptionally difficult decisions’

Roger Burnley, Sainsbury’s retail and operations director, said: “These are exceptionally difficult decisions to make and we have not taken them lightly.

“I recognise that this will be a challenging time for many of our colleagues and we will do everything we can to support them and help them move through this period of uncertainty.”

The £23bn turnover business is the latest of the big four to announce a major reshuffle of staff in response to the sting of heavy discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Earlier this month, Morrisons’ ceo David Potts revealed he would cut 700 head office roles​ and create 5,000 new shop floor roles in a bid to improve the customers’ experience.

Tesco, which published its worst ever pre-tax loss of £6.8bn​ yesterday (April 22), is rumoured to be planning up to 10,000 job cuts​ to revive its failing fortunes.

Up to 6,000 jobs are likely to go at Tesco’s head offices and in 43 stores earmarked for closure. A further 4,000 jobs would be lost in a major management restructure, according to reports.

Meanwhile, northern supermarket chain Booths will axe 100 jobs and close two stores later this year. The retailer would also carry out an in-store management restructure, it revealed today (April 23).

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