NORTH East Sainsbury’s staff are voicing fears that a store management redeployment exercise may lead to job losses.
The new structure will see team leader and manager posts being reduced and staff retrained for new roles.
But a team leader at a North East branch, who did not want to be named, said: “This is the second time in two years that some colleagues have been made to choose between re-employment and redundancy.
“I think Sainsbury’s will be shocked at how many people take their redundancy.”
Staff members from all over the North East have been using Facebook to voice both support and concern over the scheme, which Sainsbury’s says will make pay gaps among employees fair – a claim which has upset some staff, who say they could be losing nearly £100 a week as a result.
Simon Roberts, retail and operations director of Sainsbury’s, 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.
“Our intention is not to reduce overall head-count 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.”
The plan came alongside Sainsbury’s £1.4b purchase of home retail group Argos and £60m purchase of the Nectar loyalty scheme.
A staff member at a Sainsbury’s North-East branch, who did not wish to comment on the management structure, said: “I think it’s a great venture for the company buying Argos and Nectar. It made a lot of sense buying a well-established brand like Argos, as it has brought concessions into the stores
“There are many items available at Argos which we previously didn’t stock – for example, large items of furniture – which broadens availability for customers.”