The Socialist

The Socialist 2 May 2018

May and Tories must go

The Socialist issue 993

Windrush: Rudd resigns. May and Tories must go


Young people trapped in private rental

Reject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

100k more zero-hour contracts in just a year

Windrush: Whitehall demo shames Tories and Blairites

Labour members' fury at expulsion of anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth

Lib Dems backed benefit sanctions to win 5p carrier bag charge


200 years of Karl Marx: Marxist ideas more relevant than ever


May 1968: Police attacks on students spark mass revolt


May Day McStrike: "A symbol for all workers"

Hull college workers and students protest redundancy plan

RMT members reject Labour affiliation calls at London debate

Radiographers' union discusses coordinated action

Usdaw conference 2018


Stop Trump! Build for mass walkouts and protests on 13 July!

Building fund appeal smashes 150,000, keep it coming!

Salford nursery campaigners take fight to parliament

Parents and campaigners protest Leeds disability travel cut

Obituary: Roy Corke 1945-2018

Leicestershire NHS campaign launched


TUSC causing a stir in Haringey

Groundswell of support for TUSC in Huddersfield

TUSC stands against gentrification and cuts in Waltham Forest


Spain: 'We don't want to be brave, we want to be free!'

Catalonia: thousands on the streets

USA: Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant

Malta: right-wing Labour leader's insult to May Day


The Socialist inbox

 
 
 
 
 

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Reject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

Asda-Sainsbury's merger

Asda-Sainsbury's merger   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, chair, Usdaw Broad Left (personal capacity)

Workers in Sainsbury's and Asda were shocked to hear on Saturday 28 April that their employers were at an advanced level of merger talks, confirmed as a deal agreed on the morning of 30 April.

They would have been especially angered by the incredible behaviour of Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe. ITV News published a video of him singing "we're in the money" to himself between TV interviews announcing the merger!

No consultation has taken place with workers in any of the three recognised unions in the two companies. Retail and distribution union Usdaw organises in Sainsbury's throughout the UK and Asda in Northern Ireland. Unite the Union also organises in Sainsbury's, and general union GMB organises in Asda in England, Wales and Scotland.

Clearly, this move follows the stagnation of the UK retail sector, as well as buyouts such as wholesaler Booker by Tesco and Argos by Sainsbury's. As the discounters have eaten into the retail share of the 'big four' - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons - bosses are seeking 'efficiencies' by combining resources.

This is despite both companies being profitable, with Sainsbury posting its best Christmas results ever and Asda recording successive quarters of sales growth, despite the recent retail squeeze.

Closures

The companies have pledged no store closures. This seems unlikely. The Competition and Market Authority which regulates mergers will probably require some store disposals to prevent local monopolies.

The deal talks about 'supply chain efficiencies'. Shopfloor representatives are rightly demanding no job losses.

But Usdaw's outgoing right-wing general secretary John Hannett has only promised "monitoring" and "clarification." The unions must demand no cuts to jobs or pay, and back it up with the threat of industrial action.

Sainsbury's is currently trying to force workers to sign new contracts which raise the basic rate but cut important pay elements. Unite has rightly demanded management halt this at least until the merger.

This once again highlights the question of why the supply of food, a necessity of life, is left in the hands of capitalism's profit motive.

Asda is owned by the notoriously anti-union US giant Walmart. Sainsbury's largest shareholder is the Qatari sovereign wealth fund.

The priorities of both are their bottom lines, rather than shop workers and supermarket customers. The free market delivers some of the lowest wages in the economy for retail workers while also squeezing suppliers.

Instead of leaving such a key sector to the whims of big business, the big supermarket chains and their distribution networks should be brought into public ownership, under democratic workers' control and management. This, as part of a socialist plan of production, is the only way to guarantee retail workers' jobs in the long term.


In this issue


What we think

Windrush: Rudd resigns. May and Tories must go


Socialist Party news and analysis

Young people trapped in private rental

Reject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

100k more zero-hour contracts in just a year

Windrush: Whitehall demo shames Tories and Blairites

Labour members' fury at expulsion of anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth

Lib Dems backed benefit sanctions to win 5p carrier bag charge


200 years of Karl Marx

200 years of Karl Marx: Marxist ideas more relevant than ever


France '68

May 1968: Police attacks on students spark mass revolt


Socialist Party workplace news

May Day McStrike: "A symbol for all workers"

Hull college workers and students protest redundancy plan

RMT members reject Labour affiliation calls at London debate

Radiographers' union discusses coordinated action

Usdaw conference 2018


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Stop Trump! Build for mass walkouts and protests on 13 July!

Building fund appeal smashes 150,000, keep it coming!

Salford nursery campaigners take fight to parliament

Parents and campaigners protest Leeds disability travel cut

Obituary: Roy Corke 1945-2018

Leicestershire NHS campaign launched


Local elections 2018

TUSC causing a stir in Haringey

Groundswell of support for TUSC in Huddersfield

TUSC stands against gentrification and cuts in Waltham Forest


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: 'We don't want to be brave, we want to be free!'

Catalonia: thousands on the streets

USA: Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant

Malta: right-wing Labour leader's insult to May Day


Opinion

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Retail:

triangleRetail and the coronavirus outbreak - organise to defend workers interests

triangleAction needed to protect shop workers and access to essential goods

triangleHackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

triangleThem & Us

triangleArgos Christmas bonus cut

Supermarket:

triangleSupermarkets are ruled by profit - unions should control supply limits

triangleSainsbury's strikers win

triangleUsdaw ADM 2019

triangleSupermarket giants merger: protect jobs and fight price hikes

Nationalise:

triangleWe need tests for all now! Nationalise production and research

Jobs:

triangleNationalise to save jobs threatened by Covid-19 and downturn

triangle500 BBC journalists' jobs under threat

Workers:

triangleLeicester: Nylacast worker exposes truth

Union:

triangleMore than ever, we need accountable union leaders

Usdaw:

triangleUsdaw - the Activist

Unions:

triangleThe self-employed need 100% of their income, and now!

Tesco:

triangleIncompetent bosses use tech to bully us

Northern Ireland:

triangleNorthern Ireland's strike wave

Wages:

triangleAverage wages recover to pre-crisis levels - but we're still over a decade behind

Argos:

triangleArgos workers in Sainsbury's stores threatened with losing collective bargaining

Morrisons:

trianglePay Deal: ACAS sides with management

Competition:

triangleCoronavirus: international cooperation needed, not capitalist competition

Big business:

triangleImmigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite

Capitalism:

triangleCoronavirus plunges capitalism into global turmoil

Economy:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Globalisation/deglobalisation and the world economy

GMB:

triangleWorkers at Lewisham coronavirus hospital walk out after not being paid

Ireland:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: Behind the Sinn Fein surge in Ireland