Thousands of hours are being cut from staff rotas in 35 of the society's 3,000 or so food stores.
One of the worst affected stores is in Stornoway, where 1,000 staff hours are to be lost, while staff in other affected stores have revealed they will be hit by cuts of around 700 hours.
The review comes less than two months after The Co-op Group, which employs 71,268 staff across its food estate, blamed intense competition, faltering consumer confidence and government spending cuts for a 3.6% drop in half-year like-for-like food sales. The society is also nearing the end of its integration of Somerfield.
"We have conducted a review of staffing levels at our stores to introduce fairer and more consistent standards across The Co-operative estate," a Co-op Group spokeswoman confirmed. "This includes a more accurate way of determining the optimum number of working hours required to run each store, while maintaining the same level of service across all our outlets.
"The net effect will be a significant increase in the number of hours worked across the estate."
Somerfield was our best buy ever, insists The Co-op's Marks (17 October 2011)
Editor's Comment: We must grit our teeth during the downturn and just get on with it (15 October 2011)
Free jabs for staff in flu drive at The Co-op (6 October 2011)