Sainsbury has handed over the management of operations at its south-east London distribution centre to logistics company Exel.

Exel won the contract to manage operations at the centre in Charlton, and will aim to increase efficiency and the availability of products.

The news prompted an angry response from the Transport & General Workers Union (T&G), which represents 500 of the 600 workers at the plant.

Brian Revell, T&G national organiser for food and agriculture said: “Whatever Sainsbury’s or Exel say, it looks very much as if this is an agenda for cuts. The T&G will support its members in opposing this management plan that will have a major negative impact on people’s lives.”