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BoE Governor Wrong To Call For Wage Restraint: Tesco Chairman

Staff at Tesco deserve to be protected from inflation, and it was wrong for the governor of the Bank of England to tell workers to restrain their demands for wage rises, the chairman of Britain’s biggest supermarket said on Sunday.

Andrew Bailey drew an icy response from unions and the government after he said that workers should show restraint when asking for annual pay rises, in an indication of the tensions ahead, as British people face the biggest drop in living standards for more than 30 years.

Asked about Bailey’s comment, John Allan told BBC TV, “Our 300,000 colleagues [...] deserve to be protected from inflation.

“So I think that’s the wrong direction for people to go in.”

Jobs At Risk

On 1 February, Tesco noted that 1,600 jobs are at risk, as it announced a further round of restructuring across its store network.

According to a Sky News report, the company announced that it is moving overnight restocking to the daytime in 36 large stores and 49 convenience stores.

It is also converting 36 of its petrol stations to become strictly pay-at-pump sites during overnight hours, it added.

The announcement came a day after Tesco announced that it was scrapping its discount store brand, Jack’s, with the closure of seven stores and the loss of around 130 jobs, while also shutting meat, deli and fish counters at more than 300 sites.

It noted that the combined result of the announcements would be to put around 1,600 roles at risk of redundancy across the business, but that it aimed to offer alternative roles to as many as possible, with 3,000 vacancies currently needing to be filled.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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