Sainsbury slams union claims of 850 job losses

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sainsbury denies union claims it wants to axe 850 jobs
Sainsbury denies union claims it wants to axe 850 jobs

Related tags: Job losses, Retailing, Sainsbury

Sainsbury has rejected claims from Unite the union that it plans to axe up to 850 jobs, days after spending £1.4bn to buy Argos owner, the Home Retail Group.

A spokesman for the retailer told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We’ve introduced new learning and development programmes to ensure our colleagues can continue to deliver the very best service to our customers.

“Following this we’re now creating a new management role that will provide enhanced training support across a number of stores. This position will replace the existing store trainer role.”

A consultation process was underway with all affected staff, who will have the opportunity to apply for the new, senior roles, he added.

Rejecting claims of 850 job losses

Rejecting claims of 850 job losses, the spokesman said: “We currently employ 870 store trainers. We’re now creating around 280 new learning and development manager positions and all affected colleagues will have the opportunity to apply for these more senior roles.”

The retailer promised to try to redeploy staff affected by the changes “where possible”​.

But Unite insisted that the supermarket did plan to axe up to 850 staff – in a move it described as a “severe disappointment”​.

The union – which represents more than 14,000 members at the supermarket giant Sainsbury – pledged to campaign to cut the number of compulsory redundancies. It claimed most of the job cuts would be among store trainers and those working nightshift operations.

‘Very bad news’

Unite national officer for food and drink Julia Long said: “This is very bad news for those dedicated workers affected by the planned job losses and Unite will be giving our members maximum support at this difficult time.

“We are severely disappointed, as Sainsbury seems to have deep pockets when it wants as it has just forked out £1.4bn to purchase the Home Retail Group.”

The union acknowledged Sainsbury had a good record of redeployment of staff in such situations and said it would explore “every avenue”​ to ensure continuing employment for its members.

Long said: “We are now entering the 45-day consultation period and will be having meetings with management, including asking the company if it has done an equalities’ audit of those affected by today’s announcement.” 

 

What they say about Sainsbury’s plans

Sainsbury:​ “We currently employ 870 store trainers. We’re now creating around 280 new learning and development manager positions and all affected colleagues will have the opportunity to apply for these more senior roles.”

Unite:​ “This is very bad news for those dedicated workers affected by the planned job losses and Unite will be giving our members maximum support at this difficult time. We are severely disappointed, as Sainsbury seems to have deep pockets when it wants as it has just forked out £1.4bn to purchase the Home Retail Group.”

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