Sainsbury’s has moved to reassure workers at its Strand Road store in Londonderry after the unite trade union said UK-wide management plans to restructure nightshifts and reduce store trainers would mean more than two hundred jobs would go in stores across Northern Ireland.
Sean Smyth, Unite officer for Unite members in Sainsbury’s said: “We are deeply disappointed by proposals published by Sainsbury’s which threaten to reduce its employment cohort by 2,500 across the UK including a net reduction of six hundred store trainers and 1,900 Night shift positions. “We estimate the potential impact in Northern Ireland to be more than two hundred positions affecting approximately 120 members of Unite.
“While these proposals will impact on all Sainsbury’s stores, we are most concerned about the potential impact on the workforce in stores in Holywood, West Belfast, Strand Road and Dungannon.”
But Sainsbury’s moved to reassure workers saying positions are being replaced rather than eliminated and workers will be redeployed where possible.
“We’ve introduced new Learning and Development programmes to ensure our colleagues can continue to deliver the very best service to our customers. Following this we’re now creating a new management role that will provide enhanced training support across a number of stores. This position will replace the existing store trainer role,” a spokesman confirmed.
“We’re conducting a consultation process with all affected colleagues, who will have the opportunity to apply for the new, senior roles.”
He added: “We currently employ 870 store trainers. We’re now creating around 280 new Learning and Development Manager positions and all affected colleagues will have the opportunity to apply for these more senior roles. We will also look to redeploy affected colleagues where possible.”
The spokesman said some shift patterns will be changing but posts are not being axed.
“As part of our on-going service and efficiency improvement programme, we’re making some changes as to when we complete replenishment of stock in some stores. This involves night shifts being replaced by early morning and evening shifts in some stores. All colleagues who currently work on the night shift are being offered redeployment options.”