// Argos faces backlash for use of “fire and rehire” tactics
// Parent company Sainsbury’s denies Argos’ tactics
// Usdaw said many retailers are forcing staff to sign new contracts that could result in the loss of thousands of pounds
Union bosses have criticised Argos’ use of “fire and rehire” tactics as the Sainsbury’s-owned company continues to face backlash.
Usdaw said many retailers are forcing staff to sign new contracts that could result in the loss of thousands of pounds because of changes to pension contributions, holiday entitlements and travel allowances.
Argos is among those, with Usdaw stating over 700 staff have been given the choice of accepting cuts to pay and conditions or losing their jobs.
Roles said to be affected include payroll, IT, training, planning and management positions.
The union also said the affected workers will be required to pay increased pension contributions, lose four days’ holiday a year, receive a lower level of death in service and suffer the loss of car allowance and other benefits, losing £1600 to £3600 a year.
In February, Usdaw won an interdict in the Court of Session in Edinburgh, stopping Tesco moving some staff at its Livingston distribution centre on to a new contract.
“Fire and rehire tactics, to enforce contractual changes by sacking and then rehiring staff, are legally controversial and morally bankrupt,” Usdaw national officer Dave Gill said.
“Disgracefully, across the UK, we’ve seen a growing number of businesses using the uncertainty of job security in the pandemic to manipulate workers into taking worse terms, simply because they are scared of losing their jobs.”
Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s said the grocer came together with Argos almost five years ago and some office colleagues and managers in our distribution teams “remain on legacy Argos contracts”.
The company added that it wants terms and conditions to be “fair, consistent and competitive for everyone”.
“We’re speaking to these colleagues about what this means for them and the majority have already signed the new contract,” Sainsbury’s said.