Usdaw statement on Sainsburys acquiring 13 Safeway stores and one Morrisons
Date: 14 May 2004
Usdaw, the shopworkers' union, will seek to ensure its members interests are placed high on the agenda with the sale of 14 stores from Morrisons to Sainsbury's.
Sainsbury's confirmed today that it has agreed, subject to the
approval of the Office of Fair Trading, to acquire 13 Safeway
stores and one Morrisons store.
As a condition of granting approval earlier this year for
Morrisons to buy Safeway for £3bn, the competition authorities
ruled that Morrisons had to sell 53 stores in areas where it would
have an anti-competitive share of the market. The 14 stores which
Sainsbury's wants to acquire are all among those that Morrisons had
agreed to sell to abide by this ruling.
Joanne McGuinness, Usdaw National Officer, said the union was in
a good position to negotiate through the transition period on
behalf of its members in the 14 stores as it has national
agreements with all of the companies involved - Sainsbury's,
Safeway and Morrisons.
Joanne McGuinness said: "It has been a long period of
uncertainty for our members in the stores that Morrisons has to
sell. Depending on the 14 acquisitions being approved, Usdaw will
seek to hold immediate talks with the companies to represent our
members throughout the transfer to new ownership.
"At this early stage, it is important for our members to be
aware that there are employment regulations which protect workers'
terms and conditions when there is a takeover such as this. Usdaw
will urge the companies to ensure workers are kept fully informed
as the transition period unfolds."
Notes to Editors:
- The 13 Safeway stores which Sainsbury's has agreed to acquire
are: Mansfield, Notts; Whitehouse Farm, Stockton, Cleveland;
Chafford Hundred, Essex; Tadcaster, North Yorks; Cramlington,
Northumberland; Scunthorpe, Humberside; Team Valley, Tyne and Wear;
Spalding, Lincs; Scarborough, North Yorks; Grantham, Lincs;
Darlington, County Durham; Heaton, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear; Lytham
St Anne's, Lancs. The one Morrisons store is Ripon, North
- Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is
the UK's fifth largest union, with over 330,000 members. Most
members work in retail, but the union does have members in
transport, call centres, home shopping, food manufacturing,
chemicals, dairy process and other trades.
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