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GMB protest at Marks &Spencer

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

GMB To Hold Protest Outside Marks & Spencer Store In Brighton On Monday 12th September

Marks & Spencer are showing total disrespect for their workers says GMB

GMB, the union for retail workers, will hold a protest on Monday 12th September outside the Marks & Spencer department store in Brighton over changes to the terms and conditions of 11,000 staff, including the scrapping of the Sunday and bank holiday premiums as well as the cutting of 500 jobs from its London headquarters in Paddington, West London (See notes to editors for Sunday Times article and previous GMB press release).

GMB members working in M&S are disgusted by the attitude of the company towards them.

The details of the protest are as follows:

11am Monday 12th September,
Outside M&S store
195 Western Road
Brighton
BN1 2BJ

Paul Maloney, GMB regional secretary, said “Marks and Spencer are showing total disrespect for their workers. GMB are to stage a protest outside M&S during the week of the TUC conference in Brighton.

M&S who masquerade as the ethical employer, has again been exposed putting profit before people. GMB has exposed M&S distribution centre in Swindon where staff were employed on zero hour contracts through an agency and on minimum pay."

End

Contact: Paul Maloney on 07801 343839, Charles Harrity 07977518042 or GMB press office on 07358 156846 or press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to editors

1 M&S slashes head office jobs

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2016-09-04/business/m-amp-s-slashes-head-office-jobs-pnr2lq8xk

Ben Harrington, September 4 2016, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

Struggling retail stalwart Marks & Spencer is poised to cull hundreds of jobs at its London headquarters.

An announcement about the cuts is expected within days. Many of the 500 or so posts earmarked for the axe at the HQ in Paddington, west London, are among contractors, according to insiders. No stores will be affected.

Steve Rowe, who replaced Marc Bolland as chief executive in April, is under pressure to show how M&S can improve following a series of abysmal sales figures. He has promised to outline plans to revive the chain’s fortunes when he delivers a comprehensive review in November.

In the three months to the beginning of July, underlying clothing and home sales fell by nearly 9%, the sharpest decline for more than a decade. “These are not the numbers I wanted to see,” Rowe said.

In May last year, M&S shares peaked at nearly 600p. They closed on Friday at just 354.1p.
News of the cuts is likely to aggravate the already strained relations between the 82,000 workers and a company long regarded as one of the best employers in the retail industry.
M&S has been embroiled in a dispute with staff over the scrapping of premiums for working Sundays and bank holidays. It is also closing its final salary pension scheme.

On Friday, the retailer said it had come up with a deal that it hopes will settle the dispute. Extra pay for working unsocial hours will be reduced, the lowest-paid employees will receive rises of about 15%, lifting them to £8.50p an hour, or £9.65p in London.

“The changes will reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernise our business, and help us attract and retain the best talent so we can continue to provide great service for customers,” Sacha Berendji, M&S’s retail director, said.

Campaigners welcomed the proposals, but said they did not go far enough.

Analysts expect Rowe’s review in November to include plans to close some stores as M&S struggles to compete with other high street retailers and online outlets. It is thought that the company will also cut back its overseas operations.

Predictions of this week’s head office cuts emerged yesterday on Sky News. M&S refused to confirm the reports. “We would never comment on rumour and speculation,” the company said last night.

2 GMB Press Release July 12th 2016

GMB Condemns Cuts To Pay At Marks And Spencer

You can’t cut your way out of a crisis and to see M&S cut the pay of shop floor staff for a crisis created in the boardroom is illogical, immoral and unfair says GMB

GMB commented today on plans from Marks & Spencer to cut premiums for working on Sundays and bank holidays. The company plans to terminate extra pay for work on Sundays altogether while bank holiday premiums will be reduced.

Reductions in pension contributions are expected to see some 11,000 workers worse off while anti-social hours payments have been restricted to those starting work before 6am rather than 7am.

Harry Donaldson, GMB national officer, said “Once again in the retail sector we see an employer giving with one hand and taking away with the other. GMB members will be very disappointed to see M&S prioritising shareholder returns at the expense of hardworking employees.

Marks and Spencer claim that the new pay structure will make the company more sustainable and give workers “parity” across the organisation but as usual we’re seeing long standing, low paid employees being the worst affected while senior management get off scot-free. In what world is that fair?

Last month M&S revealed that clothing sales had fallen by 8.9% since last year following the implementation of a plan from the company’s new chief executive Steve Rowe. GMB members should not be on the receiving end of the incompetence from Marks and Spencer’s senior management.

You can’t cut your way out of a crisis and to see M&S cut the pay of shop floor staff for a crisis created in the boardroom is illogical, immoral and unfair.”

End

 

 

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