Retail union Usdaw has called an urgent meeting with Somerfield to discuss the staff implications of the supermarket chain’s plans to sell convenience store chain Kwik Save.
The deal will affect Kwik Save’s 7,000 UK staff in several ways: 102 Kwik Save stores will be converted, to trade as Somerfield convenience stores; 171 will be sold to a new company which will own the rights to the Kwik Save name; 33 will be sold to other retailers and 77 will be sold to other investors.
Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness, said: “We have already contacted the new owners to find out their plans for the staff, how they intend to secure the long-term future of the well known Kwik Save brand and to see how we can help take this new company forward.
“Once the new buyers for 33 stores not covered by the Somerfield and Kwik Save deal are announced we’ll be seeking urgent talks with them to make sure our members’ terms and conditions are respected.
“But for Usdaw members in the remaining 77 stores where staff are not transferring to new owners we are mindful this is a very difficult time for them and we will doing all we can to make sure they get the very best redundancy package if they are to close.”
McGuinness said Usdaw welcomes the aim of securing the long-term future of two exceptionally well known high street names and making sure around 6,000 workers have a job.
“But our members can rest assured Usdaw will make sure their rights are protected in what is a very unsettling time for many staff,” she added.