Some 2,500 jobs are to be slashed at three Morrisons depots in the wake of the supermarket giant’s merger with Safeway.
In October last year, depot workers threatened strike action to win national negotiation rights in the wake of the merger. Depot closures, announced in the run up to the strike, strengthened the resolve of the workers.
But the action, which would have seen shelves empty across the country, was called off at the last minute to allow the T&G and GMB unions to hold talks with the company.
The unions won the right to national negotiation. But workers were shocked in early January when the closure of three major depots in Bristol, Warrington and Aylesford, Kent, was conceded.
Martin Sharpe, a GMB member at the Aylesford site, told Socialist Worker, “2,500 jobs are now set to go, starting this week. Looking back many workers have drawn the conclusion that we should have gone ahead with strikes.
“We could have forced their hands and won a lot more.”
Morrisons workers report that workers from the new EU states are being recruited to work at other depots, with appalling pay and conditions.