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Industrial Unite calls on Sainbury's to avoid compulsory redundancies during restructuring

TRADE union Unite has called on Sainsbury’s to rule out compulsory redundancies as it proceeds with a jobs shake-up that puts thousands of posts at risk.

The supermarket giant plans to cut £185 million in costs this year and part of that package involves “restructuring” its stores to reduce the number of shop-floor management posts.

It says employees will be able to apply for a smaller number of better-paid management roles or accept non-managerial posts. Otherwise they will face redundancy.

Retail and operations director Simon Roberts said the firm’s “intention is not to reduce overall headcount as a result of these proposals.”

But Unite, which represents more than 12,000 Sainsbury’s staff, has asked for a guarantee.

“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,” acting national officer for food and drink Bev Clarkson said.

“Unite will be seeking guarantees from management during the 45-day consultation period that there will be no compulsory redundancies for our members.”

The union will be meeting Sainsbury’s management to discuss its proposals and how they will affect staff, including asking whether bosses have done an equalities impact audit.

Ms Clarkson said the union appreciated the company had a good record on redeploying staff during restructures and would be “exploring every avenue to ensure the continuing employment for our members.”

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