Unite urges supermarkets to secure jobs
Unite is urging supermarkets to work with the trade unions to secure jobs in light of tough trading conditions in the sector.
Yesterday, Unite representatives from the distribution and retail sectors held a summit discuss the current situation and formulate plans for increasing the pressure on the retailers to enter into talks.
The union, which has 30,000 members working in retail, has also written to the heads of nine supermarkets in the UK and Ireland to request a personal meeting to “explore more constructive avenues to secure jobs”.
In the letter, Unite national officers for retail distribution Adrian Jones and Matt Draper and national officer for food Julia Long wrote: “Our members have become increasingly concerned over threats to their terms and conditions and job security.
“We have therefore taken the unusual step of writing to all of the major grocery retailers in the country to try to establish a common view on securing a future for all.”
The supermarkets include Asda, Co-operative Food, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Musgrave Retail Partners (Budgens), Sainsbury's, Spar and Tesco, as well as BWG Foods in Ireland.
The letter continues: “We are very conscious of the trading position many retailers are currently facing but we do not agree that the only way to move forward is by decisions to close stores, attack pensions and lay off workers.
“We have worked with employers for many years across the entire retail sector and hope that the progress that has been made in trying to establish a healthy and constructive relationship will not be lost in the race to protect profits.
“We believe that there may be an alternative way to turn around the fortunes in retail that does not put our members’ jobs and terms and conditions at risk.
“The success of any company when faced with challenges relies as much on the shop floor workers as it does on the executives and money men.”
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