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GMB to hold protest at Tesco HQ

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

GMB To Hold Protest At Tesco HQ After Emergency Motion At Gmb Congress In Bournemouth

Cutting terms and conditions of employment to offset the loss of business is a step too far for our members says GMB.

GMB, the union for workers in the food industry, will hold a protest at Tesco headquarters on Friday 17th June 2016 following an emergency motion at GMB congress in Bournemouth yesterday (Tuesday, 7th June 2016). (See notes to editors for a copy of the motion).

Tesco supplier Bakkavor Meals threatened large scale redundancies and proposals to restrict annual leave, change shift hours and cut shift and bank holiday premiums after Tesco withdrew a contract to supply mashed potato in January costing the company £32 million. GMB delegates voted in favour of actively campaigning at Tesco premises to fight the changes.

A newly implemented restriction on holiday that reduces the amount of vacation time that can be taken in one go has been particularly devastating for immigrant workers who must travel for multiple days to see relatives abroad. A proposed change to shift times would also negatively affect workers, extending their potential hours to 3.00am, well past the public transport.

The campaign against the changes to terms and conditions is supported by Dawn Butler MP, Barry Gardiner MP, Rupa Huq MP and Stephen Pound MP

The protest will be held at 12 noon on Friday 17th June 2016 at the address as follows:

Tesco Stores Ltd
Cirrus A
Shire Park
Kestrel Way


Tony Warr, GMB senior organiser, said “As a consequence of a bidding war started by Tesco at the end of 2015, GMB members have become the real victims of the loss of a £32 million business.

We have sympathy with Bakkavor because we want their business to grow so that our members can benefit from the better wages and terms and conditions that can come from increased profit. Instead of benefiting, our members are now on the receiving end of Tesco putting worker’s jobs on the line to protect their shareholder’s dividends.

While Tesco’s bottom line remains completely unaffected, Bakkavor will want to cut terms and conditions of employment to offset the loss of business. For our members, this is a step too far. GMB has put forward proposals to mitigate any job losses. GMB members will resist any attack on their terms and conditions.”


Contact: Tony Warr, GMB Senior Organiser on 07710 631336 or Hiten Vaidya 07552 120740 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691 

Notes to editor

 1 GMB Emergency motion on Bakkavor and Tesco

Conference, this week we heard of the struggles, and commemorated 40 years of the Grunswick dispute.

We recognised the solidarity from workers in the protection of Asian workers who were being exploited by their employer.

However in the same area of London, 40 years on, we have yet another employer, "bakkavor meals" now seeking to impose changes to our member’s terms and conditions claiming loss of business from Tesco?

  Changes to shift patterns where women are finishing work at 3am and have no public transport to get home.

  Restrictions on annual leave

  Cutting shift and bank holiday premiums

  Large scale redundancies

In addition, the employer wants to link annual leave to sickness policies stopping workers having the right to visit relatives abroad

Is it a coincidence that all these cuts and job losses have surfaced at the same time as the introduction of the national living wage?

This conference agrees to actively campaign against the threat to jobs, pay, holidays and conditions for GMB members at Bakkavor meals (park royal), and if required in Tesco stores and their head office.

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