After seeing this week’s Derbyshire Times – ‘Tesco Scandal’ front page, I thought I should give my view.
I am a Tesco employee on nights, and like everyone else, was shocked to hear about the closure of the Barlborough Distribution Centre.
But like most staff on nights, we didn’t get a meeting by Tesco to tell us first about the closure.
Most of us found out by seeing it in the press or through social media sites.
Admittedly, a few people had been told by a manager, but the majority knew nothing about it.
A company the size of Tesco can’t even tell their own staff that their jobs were going.
Over the last few years there has been rumours that the depoot was shutting, but nothing came of it.
Six months ago we were categorically told that there were no chance of it closing for many years because Tesco was planning on using part of the building as a training centre.
Monday night – after we’d heard the news – we were all called into a meeting. Every employee in the warehouse was there and people who were on holiday were also there. This is when the announcement was made to us by Ian Brown – third in command of Tesco!
We had many questions but the main ones that stand out is ‘how long has this been in the pipeline’ his response was that the idea, discussion and decision was only made last Thursday and that he wanted to tell us as soon as possible.
He added that the place was ‘too small’ but it’s been big enough for seven years, hasn’t it?
They insist they are trying to get alternative employment and that there are jobs at these new warehouses in Reading and Dagenham, but when you look at the jobs boards there is only one place to go and that is Fenny Lock, Leicester.
So far, there are no jobs whatsoever at these new depots, unless you’re a manager.
No-one is going south: house prices are higher, cost of living is higher, pay will be less and they will get us on a contract that they have been trying to get us on for years.
Is the real reason it’s closing because we are on high wages? Night rates vary between £10.70 up to £13 per hour.
Fenny Lock, for example, was closed a year or two ago, and has now re-opened - but staff are paid less.
Tesco has the lease on the building until 2032 – they are not going to leave it there rotting, so is this just a tactic to drive down wages?
Watch out Doncaster, you might be next!
Most of us think we will be out of a job by June 29th. There is no way the majority of us will be there come September.
I’m gutted about losing my job because the job market is so bad at the moment even a change of career isn’t much of an option because mortgages have to be paid and bills have to be paid.
Nights worker at Tesco Chesterfield Distribution Centre