Tesco axe is morally worse than pit closures


Monday afternoon I got a text from my partner’s eldest. It read simply ‘Out of a job by September.’

Tesco had decided, out of the blue, to close their depot at Barlbrough.

Immediately my mind starts to worry about mortgage payments. Not ours, but his. Him and his girlfriend had bought their first home just 14 months ago.

Then there’s his brother who works in the same depot! He’s just bought his first car. How’s he going to afford the £150 a month insurance if he’s no work? Anger isn’t the right word.

Our youngest arrived home after 10pm from his afternoon shift. He works for one of the agencies that Tesco use. He told us that only Tesco staff had been officially informed of the closure – none of the agency workers or managers were in the loop. What are Tesco playing at? It’s disgraceful that Tesco’s can’t even be bothered to inform the company that they hire?

When I worked at the Tube Works, it was dirty, tiring and mostly hard work, but we weren’t treated or talked to like dogs. Employees should be treated with respect. A carrot is always a better motivator than a stick, so why is it that Tesco seem to treat their depot staff with contempt?

When did it become the norm for employees to be tagged like animals? When did we decide it was OK that bosses could chop and change working hours at the drop of a text message?

So, why did Tesco decide to dump on 500 local workers? Are Tesco in trouble? I don’t recall Tesco doing a Jessops or HMV?

No. Tesco has decided to move their distribution side of the business, elsewhere – simply because they can. This is not the act of a business in a mess, but a business driven by greed. This is not a government shutting a pit or steel works because of low profitability. This is worse.

This closure is a bigger crime, because Tesco are NOT in trouble.

If this is what they think of their workforce, then what do they think of their customers – especially those in Chesterfield?

Tesco’s turn over is in the tens of billions per year. This is a business, so powerful, that they can influence governments. What the hell does it matter if little Joe Nobody or any small business has to suffer?

Tesco’s response to the closure, will be to counter with a statement telling us that two more Tesco depots are opening nearer London.

One in Reading and another in Dagenham. Tesco’s stores in London will now be within 25 minutes reach of their nice new depots, HURRAH!

That’s not going to help the 500 local men and women who won’t be stocking the 4 massive Tesco’s in our area with goods. The best they can expect is to get a chance of relocation to another store or depot. As the nearest Tesco depot from Chesterfield is near Goole, I doubt there’ll be many taking up that special offer. Every little hurts!

by Steve Skinner