Usdaw demands better treatment for staff

Tesco workforce ‘let down’ over store closures

TescoTesco boss Dave Lewis will face the wrath of his 180,000 employees today after the shopworkers union criticised how store closures were announced.

Usdaw, which is the main trade union for the chain’s workforce, said the staff had been left uncertain about their future as the stores scheduled to shut had not been identified in last week’s update on the chief executive’s plan to turn around the company.

National Officers Pauline Foulkes and Joanne McGuinness said: “While the announcement was well received by the Stock Exchange, the same cannot be said for staff.

“They feel completely let down by both the content and nature of the turnaround proposals and the manner in which they found out.

“It was disappointing to learn that the proposals included the closure of the Cheshunt head office and 43 stores. What is worse is that the company has still not declared which shops they intend to close, leaving staff in all 3,000 plus stores worrying whether it is theirs that will close, creating additional anxiety and uncertainty.”

Staff also wanted more information on plans to shut the final salary pension scheme.

“This is no way to treat staff, whose hard work and commitment has helped the business over the years and through one of Tesco’s most difficult periods,” said the union officials in a statement issued today.

“Usdaw is calling on the new chief executive Dave Lewis to ensure that the staff are respected and valued throughout this turnaround programme. The company must listen, engage and meaningfully consult staff and Usdaw representatives, acknowledging that they will play a huge part in turning Tesco around.”

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