Tesco: shop workers need fighting union leadership

Tesco: supermarket workers need a fighting union leadership

Scott Jones, Candidate for Usdaw executive South Wales and Western division

Tesco’s first trading statement of 2015 brought further profits warnings, news of cuts and further attacks on workers.

The supermarket giant is set to close 43 ‘unprofitable’ stores, mostly smaller Tesco Expresses, reduce and relocate its head office and do away with the final salary pension scheme for all staff.

However, Tesco’s profit predictions remain high at £1.4 billion. Its market share remains almost three times that of discounters Lidl and Aldi combined.

Despite this Tesco is attempting to return to super-profits on the backs of its already low-paid workers.

Scandalously, the Usdaw shopworkers’ union issued a statement saying that it “recognises that change is inevitable” and “noting the difficulties facing Tesco”. The union should be defending its members – not defending the employer!

In contrast, Unite, which represents many Tesco drivers, demands that Tesco workers should not be made to pay for the failure in the boardroom.

Majority union

However, Usdaw represents the overwhelming majority of Tesco and other supermarket workers. These workers now need a fighting leadership prepared to take on the bosses more than ever.

In the union’s upcoming elections Socialist Party members will be building support for the candidates endorsed by the union’s Broad Left.

These include two Socialist Party members and Tesco workers standing for the executive committee. I am standing for the South Wales and Western division and Amy Murphy is standing for re-election in the Southern division and for president.