Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/993/27299

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 May 2018

Reject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

Asda-Sainsbury's merger

Asda-Sainsbury's merger   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, chair, Usdaw Broad Left (personal capacity)

Workers in Sainsbury's and Asda were shocked to hear on Saturday 28 April that their employers were at an advanced level of merger talks, confirmed as a deal agreed on the morning of 30 April.

They would have been especially angered by the incredible behaviour of Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe. ITV News published a video of him singing "we're in the money" to himself between TV interviews announcing the merger!

No consultation has taken place with workers in any of the three recognised unions in the two companies. Retail and distribution union Usdaw organises in Sainsbury's throughout the UK and Asda in Northern Ireland. Unite the Union also organises in Sainsbury's, and general union GMB organises in Asda in England, Wales and Scotland.

Clearly, this move follows the stagnation of the UK retail sector, as well as buyouts such as wholesaler Booker by Tesco and Argos by Sainsbury's. As the discounters have eaten into the retail share of the 'big four' - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons - bosses are seeking 'efficiencies' by combining resources.

This is despite both companies being profitable, with Sainsbury posting its best Christmas results ever and Asda recording successive quarters of sales growth, despite the recent retail squeeze.

Closures

The companies have pledged no store closures. This seems unlikely. The Competition and Market Authority which regulates mergers will probably require some store disposals to prevent local monopolies.

The deal talks about 'supply chain efficiencies'. Shopfloor representatives are rightly demanding no job losses.

But Usdaw's outgoing right-wing general secretary John Hannett has only promised "monitoring" and "clarification." The unions must demand no cuts to jobs or pay, and back it up with the threat of industrial action.

Sainsbury's is currently trying to force workers to sign new contracts which raise the basic rate but cut important pay elements. Unite has rightly demanded management halt this at least until the merger.

This once again highlights the question of why the supply of food, a necessity of life, is left in the hands of capitalism's profit motive.

Asda is owned by the notoriously anti-union US giant Walmart. Sainsbury's largest shareholder is the Qatari sovereign wealth fund.

The priorities of both are their bottom lines, rather than shop workers and supermarket customers. The free market delivers some of the lowest wages in the economy for retail workers while also squeezing suppliers.

Instead of leaving such a key sector to the whims of big business, the big supermarket chains and their distribution networks should be brought into public ownership, under democratic workers' control and management. This, as part of a socialist plan of production, is the only way to guarantee retail workers' jobs in the long term.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 2 May 2018:


What we think

Windrush: Rudd resigns. May and Tories must go


Socialist Party news and analysis

Young people trapped in private rental

Reject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

100k more zero-hour contracts in just a year

Windrush: Whitehall demo shames Tories and Blairites

Labour members' fury at expulsion of anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth

Lib Dems backed benefit sanctions to win 5p carrier bag charge


200 years of Karl Marx

200 years of Karl Marx: Marxist ideas more relevant than ever


France '68

May 1968: Police attacks on students spark mass revolt


Socialist Party workplace news

May Day McStrike: "A symbol for all workers"

Hull college workers and students protest redundancy plan

RMT members reject Labour affiliation calls at London debate

Radiographers' union discusses coordinated action

Usdaw conference 2018


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Stop Trump! Build for mass walkouts and protests on 13 July!

Building fund appeal smashes 150,000, keep it coming!

Salford nursery campaigners take fight to parliament

Parents and campaigners protest Leeds disability travel cut

Obituary: Roy Corke 1945-2018

Leicestershire NHS campaign launched


Local elections 2018

TUSC causing a stir in Haringey

Groundswell of support for TUSC in Huddersfield

TUSC stands against gentrification and cuts in Waltham Forest


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: 'We don't want to be brave, we want to be free!'

Catalonia: thousands on the streets

USA: Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant

Malta: right-wing Labour leader's insult to May Day


Opinion

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 2 May 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Retail:

triangleArgos Christmas bonus cut

triangleWorkplace victory emboldens retail workers to get organised

triangleWhat strategy can end the retail jobs massacre?

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Retail Fightback

triangleRetail workers fight back against Scrooge bosses

Supermarket:

triangleSainsbury's strikers win

triangleUsdaw ADM 2019

triangleSupermarket giants merger: protect jobs and fight price hikes

triangleChanges threaten thousands of jobs

Nationalise:

triangleEnd profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

triangleNationalise to save jobs and protect passengers

triangleNationalise Ford to prevent closure

Jobs:

triangleTata announces 1,000 job cuts - Steel unions must fight for every job!

triangleFighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

Workers:

triangleStand firm for socialist policies to stop Tory attacks

Union:

trianglePCS general secretary election

Usdaw:

triangleThe Activist Issue 82 - for retail workers

Unions:

triangleUndervalued gritters to walk out

Tesco:

triangleIncompetent bosses use tech to bully us

Northern Ireland:

triangleNorthern Ireland: Health workers take action over understaffing and pay equality

Wages:

triangleWages flatline, while shareholders profit

Argos:

triangleThree week Argos strike ends

Morrisons:

trianglePay Deal: ACAS sides with management

Competition:

triangleA socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union

Big business:

triangleKshama Sawant reelected in Seattle

Capitalism:

triangleTV: Crime and Punishment - this brutal watch is a damning indictment of cuts and capitalism

Economy:

triangleLife in the gig economy

GMB:

triangleFrimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation

Ireland:

triangleNorthern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/12/19

Britain

Stand firm for socialist policies to stop Tory attacks

4/12/19

Pharmaceutical

End profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

4/12/19

Labour

Prepare now for the struggles after 12 December

4/12/19

The Socialist

Keep up to date with our election coverage

4/12/19

NHS

News in brief

4/12/19

Hillsborough

Hillsborough justice eluded

30/11/19

London

Unite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

27/11/19

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

27/11/19

University

Resist attacks against free speech on campus

27/11/19

Council

End council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

27/11/19

Tories

Tories launch 'non manifesto'

27/11/19

Labour

Labour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society

27/11/19

Monarchy

Prince Andrew outrage exposes establishment

27/11/19

Tory

Tory election campaign's dirty tricks and lies

20/11/19

Wages

Wages flatline, while shareholders profit

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999