Unions demand urgent Tesco meeting amid fears over 15,000 jobs | Business News
Trade unions are calling for “urgent” talks with Tesco management as speculations mounts that the UK’s largest supermarket chain is poised to announce 15,000 job cuts.
Various media outlets have reported that Tesco is planning to cut up to 15,000 from its roster of around 310,000 staff as part of a drive to make cost savings of £1.5bn by next year.
Reports said that the supermarket chain will cut its delicatessen meat and fish counters and begin using frozen dough within its bakeries, which would minimise the need for skilled bakers.
The move would affect most of Tesco’s 732 bigger stores.
According to the Mail on Sunday, counters in a handful of the biggest Extra stores will open on Thursdays to Sundays, while others are earmarked for closure or being scaled back dramatically.
Reports said Tesco also plans to replace staff canteens with vending machines, which would result in job cuts across staff catering units.
Trade unions have now called for talks with Tesco management, in order to end the speculation around job losses.
Pauline Foulkes, national officer at the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), which represents more than 100,000 Tesco employees, said: “Reports and speculation in the media about significant job cuts are distressing for Tesco staff and it is appalling that they should hear about the future of their jobs in this way.
“Usdaw is seeking an urgent meeting with the company to clarify the situation, to examine the details of what changes they are proposing and what this means for staff.
“Our priority will be to press Tesco to confirm the details of their proposed changes to stop any further speculation.
“In the meantime Usdaw’s officials and reps are on hand to support our members and further updates will be provided once we have further information”.
Unite’s national officer for retail distribution, Adrian Jones, said his union would also seek talks with Tesco.
“We would have expected to have been informed of any such large-scale changes that would affect our members,” he said.
Unite is recognised at four Tesco distribution centres and has over 800 members who deliver to stores in the UK.
Tesco shares were down 0.2% in early trading.