Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 July 2021

Morrisons private equity takeover proposals - Usdaw needs to move to a war footing

Morrisonsl, photo Jim Barton/CC, photo Jim Barton/CC

Morrisonsl, photo Jim Barton/CC, photo Jim Barton/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Usdaw Broad Left chair (personal capacity)

A bidding war is underway by various private equity firms and their partners for supermarket Morrisons.

The current bidders are led by Fortress private equity fund, including the billionaire Koch family. Its bid is higher than that from rival private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. A further private equity firm, Apollo, has also appointed advisors ahead of submitting a bid.

On the back of these bids the share price has increased 50% in recent weeks. These developments reinforce the arguments we have made about the strengthened position of the big supermarket companies coming out of the pandemic.

The recently approved takeover of Asda by the Issa brothers, whose first major move since taking over is organising the sale and lease-back of around 25 distribution centres, estimated to raise around £1.2 billion, is an indication of what will be in store for Morrisons workers if any of these possible deals go through.

But there's nothing holding any other bid, or a future bid by the same consortium, to commitments like retaining the pay rise to £10 an hour. And under capitalism, the main driving force of any business to bring investment returns, profits, to their owners and shareholders. Their attitude towards the interests of their workers and customers are secondary to these considerations.

As the company with the second largest number of Usdaw members after Tesco, with almost 45,000 members at the end of 2020, it is vital that the union shifts onto a war footing in relation to these announcements. Rather than simply asking for a meeting, the union should set out the red lines of opposing attacks on our members' pay, terms and conditions, as well as the company retaining control of its infrastructure and assets.

Branches of the union covering Morrisons workers should be discussing developments, and emergency mass meetings of Morrisons workers should be held if it becomes clear any attacks on the union's red lines are taking place. Approaches to Unite, which organises a minority of Morrisons workers, should be made for joint campaigning.

But fundamentally, the profit motive of the employers means squeezing retail, distribution and food manufacturing workers' wages, terms and conditions is an inevitability under capitalism. That's why the only real security for decent well-paid jobs in the sector is if the profit motive is removed from the equation.

But' why should the supply of something so essential as food be a source of such speculation? We believe that as well as defending our members pay and conditions, and job security, Usdaw should be calling for Morrisons, along with the other major supermarkets, to be brought into public ownership, under democratic workers' control.

Alongside the other key parts of the economy being brought into public ownership, this would create the basis to organise a socialist plan of production and distribution, to meet the needs of all, with pay and conditions that reflect the vital role played in our society by workers in retail, distribution and food manufacturing.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 7 July 2021:

What we think

Batley & Spen byelection: Another condemnation of Starmer's New Labour

The Struggle for World Socialism

The struggle for world socialism


Fight is on to save our NHS

NHS workers' protests


Fund the measures needed to stop the Covid spread in schools

Manchester death rate caused by deprivation

Bristol: Police to blame for protest violence

Workplace news

Royal London Hospital strike win

Morrisons private equity takeover proposals - Usdaw needs to move to a war footing

Safety campaign in DWP: What has happened to our ballot?

Striking Brush workers continue to protest 'fire and rehire'

Striking Ealing parking attendants rally outside council

Derby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

Oaks Park strikers rally

Socialist history

Terry Fields MP, Prisoner DV 3695 - The jailing of 'poll tax' rebel and Militant

International news

COP26: Socialist change to end the climate crisis

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload

Campaigns news

Rising against a rigged and rotten system

Why did I choose the Socialist Party?

Housing: Join the service charge 'strike'

Stop environmental destruction in Barnsley

"It's great to be back": Come to a Socialist Party in-person meeting

We need funds to fight Tory NHS attacks

Road closures: Hackney residents have not been consulted


The story of Joe Clough - Britain's first black bus driver

Exhibition: What next for the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston?

TV - Statue wars: one summer in Bristol


Home   |   The Socialist 7 July 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleThousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

triangleMorrisons - 10/hr headline hides divisive pay offer

triangleHigh street jobs, safety and pay: We have to fight

triangleWorkers need a 'new deal' - at least 12 an hour now!

trianglePay Deal: ACAS sides with management


triangleNewham council rejects using 0.03% of reserves to fund arts

triangleBiggest protest yet to save Stratford Circus

triangleMarch to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks

triangleEquity protest to save arts centre forces talks from Newham Council

Private equity:

triangleCorrection: Labour's private health links are worse!

triangleCare UK workers to strike for three weeks

triangleComet owners walk away with millions


triangleMax McGee victimisation - second appeal rejected

triangleTesco strike action latest


triangleWar criminal Tony Blair knighted


triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



10,000 tube workers vote to strike



Scunthorpe scaffs resume indefinite strike action


South Yorkshire

S Yorks Stagecoach strike results in "huge pay win"



Sheffield Just Eat couriers speak about strike



Coventry bin strike continues



NUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March



Oliver Campbell - 31 years fighting for justice



Somers Forge workers continue pay strike



Workplace news in brief



Bus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West


Royal Mail

Royal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload



Newham college strike solid against bully privatisers



Pauline Wall memorial meeting


Socialist Students

Southampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce



Demonstrating against the Tory anti-protest bill

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

January 2022