Night shift workers at Huntingdon’s Sainsbury’s face jobs axe

Sainsbury's in Huntingdon

Sainsbury's in Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

Sainsbury’s has confirmed that a nationwide proposal to axe hundreds of jobs in the next three years will include some staff at its Huntingdon store.

The supermarket announced earlier this month that it would be shedding 800 jobs to save £500million, and as part of that proposal it has begun a consultation process with 24 night-shift employees at the St Germain Walk store to reduce the current workforce to 2.5 positions.

The news comes in the wake of an announcement two weeks ago in which Sainsbury’s told The Hunts Post it would no longer be relocating to a larger premises on the new Huntingdon West development.

One night-shift worker, who asked not to be named, said staff were shocked to hear the news, which felt like being “punched in the stomach”.

“Someone from human resources turned up at 4.30 in the morning so we knew something was wrong and then we were called to a meeting. We were all upset and are still struggling to come to terms with the news.”

Sainsbury’s issued the following statement: “In these stores, it is proposed that the night shift will be replaced by early morning and evening shifts, with fewer deliveries. Colleagues who currently work on the night shift will have a number of redeployment options. This follows changes already made in 33 stores last year which substantially improved availability and service for customers.”

The night-shift worker told The Hunts Post that night staff had been offered financial incentives to move to the day shift, but for most of them working day shifts was not an option.

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“It is all very well for Sainsbury’s to say we can relocate or transfer to the day shift, but the reason a lot of people choose to work nights is because it fits in with their family arrangements. People work nights because their partners work days and they can share child care.”

Sainsbury’s’ has also carried out an “extensive review” across all of its stores and will also be looking at department manager and deputy manager roles.

Roger Burnley, retail and operations director for Sainsbury’s, said: “These are exceptionally difficult decisions to make and we have not taken them lightly. I recognise that this will be a challenging time for many of our colleagues and we will do everything we can to support them and help them move through this period of uncertainty as quickly as possible.”