‘Hammer blow’ for Asda staff as jobs reportedly put at risk

ASDA in Ipswich - Whitehouse.

ASDA in Ipswich - Whitehouse. - Credit: Archant

Supermarket workers in Ipswich could face uncertainty over their futures after it was revealed Asda could cut almost 2,500 jobs.

Plans are being drawn up to close the Asda store at Fordhall Retail Park in Newmarket.

Plans are being drawn up to close the Asda store at Fordhall Retail Park in Newmarket. - Credit: Archant

It is understood that those working in the petrol, bakery, back office and George clothing areas of the company’s stores could be affected, along with those who are hosters.

Asda, which is planning to merge with Sainsbury’s in a deal subject to a competitions investigation, declined to comment on any potential job cuts.

However it said in a statement: “In a competitive retail market, where customers rightly expect great value and ease of service, we must always look at how we can work more quickly and efficiently for them - and, inevitably, that means we need to consider changing the roles we need our colleagues to do or the hours needed in particular parts of our stores.

“We believe the proposed changes we are consulting on would allow us to do a better job for our customers.

“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.”

It is understood consultations with workers will not start until the new year and any redundancies will take place in February at the earliest.

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The plans include changes to workers’ hours, it is understood.

Gary Carter, national officer of the GMB union, said: “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. GMB will fight tooth and nail for every single job.

“These cuts make no sense whatsoever. Slashing our members’ jobs would hurt the service Asda customers receive.

“With all the speculation surrounding the proposed Sainsbury’s merger and potential sell-off of stores, this news will not put anyone’s mind at rest.”