Usdaw pledges to support its members while Unite accuses “deplorable” management of making workers pay

TescoUnite has warned thousands of Tesco workers shouldn’t be made to pay because of boardroom failure.

The warning comes as the supermarket chain announced plans to close 43 stores and its defined benefit pension scheme. Unite members work across the Tesco distribution network as drivers and warehouse operatives.

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “Our members who deliver day in day out for Tesco, many of whom have done so for a great number of years, are now extremely concerned about their futures.

“We all know that Tesco’s mantle has wobbled recently but it is deplorable that management are now making the workers pay for failure at the top. This is on the same day that it announces the appointment of another CEO whose remuneration package will be staggeringly high compared with our members.

Unite is extremely concerned over Tesco’s conduct and the job security of over 2,000 members, and is seeking an urgent meeting with management to discuss their future.”

Meanwhile, Usdaw pledged to support its shop worker members at the store.

National officers Pauline Foulkes and Joanne McGuinness said: “We note the difficulties faced by Tesco and we are just as keen to ensure that the company is able to turn the business around and improve its performance.

“We recognise that some change is inevitable given the challenges faced by the business but we will want to ensure a fair and balanced approach is taken. On that basis we have arranged meetings with the company to understand the rationale behind these proposals and begin discussions at the earliest opportunity.

“We recognise that this is a worrying and difficult time for our members and reps who will have lots of questions. However, the announcement has only just been made and as we go through the consultation process in the coming days and weeks, the situation will become clearer and we will be better placed to answer their questions.

“We want to reassure our Tesco members that Usdaw is committed to supporting and protecting them throughout this process and will continue to communicate and update them as discussions progress.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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