Unite staged a protest outside Sainsbury’s London head office this week, calling for an end to uncertainty over 1,400 jobs at Argos distribution hubs.
Twenty-five workers protested on Monday following the proposed closure of the Argos hub in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, which employs 400 workers. Unite is considering an industrial action ballot over the “serious cost-cutting” agenda, which it believes could affect more hubs and 1,400 of its members in future.
The majority of affected workers will be transferred to Argos’ site in Kettering, Northamptonshire at the end of the year, but Unite branded the move a “slap in the face” for employees who may have to travel over an hour to reach the site.
Unite expressed concerns other Argos sites could also be in jeopardy. It claimed Argos had given no guarantee workers’ terms and conditions would be safeguarded.
“We suspect that the new owner Sainsbury’s is pulling the strings here,” said Unite national officer for road transport & retail distribution Matt Draper.
Argos pledged to “fully support” affected colleagues at its Lutterworth site.