Supermarket Workers Under Threat

By Deborah Hobson

Draconian work place practices may be underpinning the success of supermarket giant Tesco, as reported to The (see 'Tescomania' and comments).

Tesco's phenomenal growth, marked by its strategy of providing a complete shopping experience for its customers, has seen its profits rise above the £2 billion mark this year. Victory in bruising price wars with rivals like Wal-Mart- owned Asda has resulted in a one pound in every £8 spend at its stores.

However, as with all battles, there are casualties and staff may be finding life in 'Tesco-World' a lot less rosier than the supermarket chain's customers. In its pursuit of maximum profits, has Tesco decided to squeeze from the bottom and subject its staff to underhand practices like reducing holiday entitlement as a pay back to the company for work days lost due to employee illness?

The Independent newspaper reported recently that Asda has drawn up a secret plan to break up the general workers union GMB's protection of its workforce amid reports of job cuts.

Profit winner or loser: these are worrying times for all supermarket staff.