Unite held three hours of talks with Sainsbury’s management yesterday (August 8) when, Unite national officer for the food industry Joe Clarke said, the union “made robust representations on behalf of those members who will be adversely affected by the introduction of the new contract in September.
“While we recognise that the majority of workers will be better off under the new contracts, there would be a substantial number of employees, mainly longer serving and older workers, who will be worse off,” Clarke noted.
“We strongly made the argument that those workers adversely affected by the new contract, who do not wish to accept it, can stay on their existing terms without the draconian threat of the sack.
“Sainsbury’s will consider the case the union had vigorously made and give its response to us within the next two weeks.,” he added.
Unite has already taken legal steps to protect its 11,000 members who have been told by Sainsbury’s they have to sign the new contracts by 23 September – or face the sack.
Unite said the dispute stems from the firm’s proposal to increase pay to £9.20 an hour for workers at Sainsbury’s 1,400 stores from September, which would be eroded by ‘strings’ such as removing premium pay for Sunday working. The normal current rate is £8.00 an hour.