The UK supermarket chain Asda is one the verge of cutting jobs because of the intense price competition in the UK retailing market. The company announced that it would begin a process of consultation with the staff and employees for this round of layoffs which can be as high as 2,500.
A representative of the retailing giant was quoted in the media as saying that the top brass of the company felt a need to contemplate changing of roles and responsibilities of employees as well as their working hours.
Asda was taken over by US retailing giant Walmart in 1999. In a recent move, Asda has agreed to get merged with it competitor Sainsbury’s.
According to reactions from the union representatives on the issue, the minds of the workers would not be put off the merger by the news and the union is ready to take all measures to prevent job cuts.
Currently, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is examining the pros and cons of the merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s.
According to media reports, petrol sales, bakery departments and back-office staff are the areas of work likely to be affected in the job cuts.
There can also be job cuts in the George clothing sales areas.
The “competitive retail market” was forcing the company to think and about the changes, said Asda. The intense competition in the UK retail market has seen the UK retailers struggling to complete with the rise of the German discount retailers Aldi and Lidl.
“We believe the proposed changes we are consulting on would allow us to do a better job for our customers,” Asda said.
“We also recognise that discussions about potential change aren’t easy. If the decision is taken to implement the proposed changes, we would work with our colleagues to look at the potential impact of these proposals on them.”
There is no sense in the policy of cutting jobs at the firm, said the GMB union, which represents Asda workers, and added that it would “fight tooth and nail for every single job”.
“These proposed redundancies are a hammer blow to Asda workers. The timing of this announcement, in the run-up to Christmas, is doubly appalling. Asda is performing well and is highly profitable because of the hard work of our members, who are the backbone of the company,” said National officer Gary Carter.
(Adapted form BBC.com)