Saturday, September 24, 2005

Morrisons UK warns of 2,500 job losses

• Unions warn strike action likely


Morrisons UK warns of 2,500 job losses
Supermarket giant Morrisons yesterday warned that 2,500 jobs could be lost after a review found that three of the company’s depots may no longer be required.

The firm said its sites in Aylesford, Kent, Bristol and Warrington were at risk of closure. Workers would be encouraged to apply for alternative jobs in the group with the aim of minimising redundancies, said Morrisons.

The announcement was made as talks resumed with the GMB and Transport and General Workers Union in a bid to resolve a dispute over job security.

The unions suspended a strike due to start yesterday so that talks could continue.

Morrisons Warehouse and Distribution Director, Chris Noone, said the firm had assessed a number of different options during the review.

"These recommendations follow a detailed review of each depot’s operational circumstances and fit within the network and an appraisal of their ability to service the Group’s future distribution needs.

We are currently discussing the proposals and consulting with all those concerned with a view to agreeing a plan for the best way forward."

Morrisons, which recently took over Safeway stores, said it now had overcapacity in its depots.

The GMB revealed details of the depot closure plans earlier this month. GMB national officer Jude Brimble said:

“This review has taken place without any involvement of the workforce or the unions. Morrisons have conducted themselves in an underhand, dishonest and disgraceful way.

They are the unacceptable face of big business.

We believe that the review has been built on a conspiracy of deceit and deception which has as its object of policy the undermining of decent pay and conditions that apply at the depots to be closed.

GMB will not allow Morrisons to get away with this. The company is obliged by law to have a consultation period with the workforce and the unions for 90 days prior to the announcement of closure.

The strike action that was due to begin yesterday was postponed for seven days to allow talks to take place and these are underway."

The union said its members would be angry at the announcement and warned that a further strike due to start on September 29 was “very likely".

Related Articles:

20 September 2005 - Move to halt strike by Morrison's delivery workers

16 September 2005 - UK Morrison workers plan strike action

02 September 2005 - All change for Gibraltar’s supermarkets

11 August 2005 - Gibraltar Safeway still up for sale, says Morrison

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