Concern over job losses at Sainsbury’s

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Concerns have been raised by a trade union about possible job losses within the Sainsbury’s chain of stores - including their Craigavon outlet.

According to trade union Unite around 130 jobs across the chain’s stores in the province could go as part of a restructuring exercise.

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s retail and operations director, said: “We’re proposing a store management structure that will deliver best in class leadership and, in many cases, will offer an improved reward package for new management roles.

“The proposals will introduce a more efficient and effective structure, designed to meet the challenges of today’s retail environment,” he added.

“Our intention is not to reduce overall headcount as a result of these proposals.

“I appreciate this will be a difficult time for those affected and we will fully support our people through these changes.”

Taryn Trainor, Unite Regional Officer for the union’s membership in Sainsbury’s raised concerns that the impact of the company’s restructuring plans would be further exacerbated by the rise of automation and self-service tills: “On the basis of figures we have been able to compile in relation to individual sites, we estimate that approximately 130 positions are likely to go as a result of this proposal in Northern Ireland.

“There are 13 Sainsbury’s supermarkets in Northern Ireland and Unite holds recognition rights for the workforce in seven of these: Newry, Armagh, Dungannon, Derry/L’Derry, West Belfast, Hollywood, Craigavon. We will be engaging with management to ensure that anyone affected by these changes is found appropriate employment elsewhere within the company.”